Daily Mail man is new ITN chairman

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Sir David English, the editor who created the much-feared voice of middle England that is today's Daily Mail, has been appointed chairman of ITN, the company that provides news programmes to ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Sir David becomes chairman because of his position as editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Mail and the Evening Standard. Associated became a 20 per cent shareholder in ITN last year when its major shareholders, Granada and Carlton, were each forced to sell 10 per cent of their shares by the 1990 Broadcasting Act. He replaces Gerry Robinson, chairman of Granada Group.

Sir David started out on Fleet Street with the left-of-centre Daily Mirror in 1961, but by the Eighties had become Baroness Thatcher's favourite editor and was knighted by her in 1982.

Highly regarded in the newspaper industry for taking the Mail's sales above those of its rival, the Daily Express, Sir David was known for an aggressive management style in the newsroom.

So highly regarded is he by the establishment that he has been used as a personal public relations advisor by both John Major and Princess Diana.

Last week he was at the centre of speculation that Associated's newspapers would support the Labour Party. This week the Mail splashed a classic story about Labour and the trades unions that dominated the election agenda until superseded by the Tory sleaze revelations.