The Word on the Street: Yelland on the Mirror, Morgan's penetration, the woman to watch

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The Independent Online

David Yelland, editor of The Sun, has at last reacted to The Mirror's relaunch. In an e-mail to Sun staff, he writes:

"1. The day they relaunched was the lowest Wednesday sale for the Mirror in its entire history. The smoke and mirrors being used here by them are very easy to see through. The Mirror has, in reality, surrendered the Red Top market to us after a 32-year fight. They have made a strategic mistake of huge proportions.

"2. The Mirror's claim to be a serious paper is simply an empty promise. It is very easy to say you are serious, but to be serious you have to understand the big issues. They do not. For example, the Mirror is the only paper apart from the Star and the lamentable Express not to have a leader on France... nobody there understood what was happening and why it was important."

¿ Over at the Daily Mirror, Piers Morgan's "relaunch" prompted the editor to address his staff. Perhaps he should have read his lines first. His fervent paean to their efforts was met with hysterical laughter when he remarked: "M magazine has helped us to penetrate more women readers."

¿ Alice Hart-Davis, who works for the London Evening Standard and used to work for the Daily Mail, is the woman to watch (literally) at Associated Newspapers. Last week she was in a pic of former debs, which appeared in the Mail, in a spread on oxygen in the health pages of the Standard, and on the front cover and a spread in ES Wheels, the Standard motoring supplement, this last with her children. Enough already.

¿ Matthew Engel, Washington correspondent of The Guardian, is not being recalled, as we reported previously. Engel, who is also a former editor of Wisden, is changing his role in the USA at his own request. He will continue to write about America for The Guardian as a columnist and feature-writer. He says: "I'm absolutely fascinated by America. I'm not that fascinated by the Pentagon and the State Department." He will be replaced in The Guardian's Washington office by Suzanne Goldenberg, the paper's Middle East writer.