Media: Dacre starts to reveal his hand at Associated
Who is Peter Wright? A Dacre man, that's who. By Darius Sanai
Tuesday 22 September 1998
At the weekend, Mr Wright was appointed as editor of the Mail on Sunday, Britain's pre-eminent mid-market Sunday tabloid. Though regular readers of the paper, who tend to be pleasant, suburban types with the requisite amount of children, pets, people-carriers and lawn acreage, will probably not think they needed a new editor, the appointment was no surprise to insiders at Associated Newspapers.
Mr Wright was, until last week, deputy editor of the Daily Mail, a faithful and hugely industrious number two (and close friend) to the newspaper's editor, Paul Dacre. When Mr Dacre was promoted to editor-in-chief of the newspaper group, following the death of Sir David English earlier this year, the writing was on the wall.
"He has been Paul Dacre's bagman for all of this decade," said one executive yesterday. "He'll create the Sunday in Paul's image."
Not that anyone expects great changes at the title, which is outselling its one-time rival, The Express on Sunday, by more than a million copies a week.
A quiet but intellectually-rigorous man, Mr Wright, 45, started at the Daily Mail as a reporter, nearly 20 years ago, and followed Mr Dacre up the career ladder: he gained the respect of his peers during a successful stewardship of the "Femail" section. Known as a "safe pair of hands", he has only had one noteworthy blip during his career, when he decided, as night foreign editor on the day of the Chernobyl reactor meltdown in 1986, that it was "not a story".
Those who know Mr Wright personally say his natural conservatism might stop him from making any major changes at the title; but senior management at Associated is known to be concerned that the paper was stagnating under the safe, but dull, stewardship of the previous editor, Jonathan Holborow, who has taken early retirement.
Solid and consistent, the paper has lacked flair and chutzpah - not words which sit consistently with Mr Wright's image, but something Mr Dacre may inject from his position on high.
"Expect a lot more women's stuff, much stronger features and comment, and a more lively read," one insider said.
By common consent, Mr Holborow's six-year reign at the Mail on Sunday failed to take full advantage of the weakness of the Sunday Express, or to tackle head-on The Sunday Times, which has plunged into the middle- market.
"The Express group has been handing the Mail titles readers on a plate for years," said Sue Douglas, a former Sunday Express editor who has worked with Mr Dacre and Mr Wright on the Daily Mail. "Peter should be able to take advantage of the situation."
auctionThe first 23 lots have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
Arts & Ents blogs
Not all right on the night
MasterChef 2013: Steven Edwards, Adam Handling and Scott Davies are the final professionals
Steven Edwards crowned winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2013
Paul Walker: Fast & Furious 7 writers working on exit story for Brian O'Conner
Kanye West is as 'misguided as they come': Ohio police chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >