Reading the Guardian's entertaining report on David Montgomery and his empire building across Europe in the van of the alien-sounding Mecom – buying up hundreds of regional newspapers – reminds me to remind you of the usual Monty cycle as witnessed at News International and Mirror Group:
1. The surprise move as he emerges from nowhere to take control (he's a Scorpio, see. Secretive).
2. Lots of promises not to sack anyone ie “Everyone is in place …”
3. A brilliant start – cuts impress the suits, he talks the talk to the City types, paints his visionary future. Some useful purchases made.
4. Cuts start as promises are shredded, the troops start to revolt, editor heads roll, lots of vile coverage in the media. He is described as "thin man" and his nickname Rommel revived.
5. Eccentric editorial initiatives, bizarre appointments, more sackings, horrible or scandalous diary items about his love life. But he loves opera and is a delight on the piano.
6. Media Rumours of unease among the suits – concern about editorial hostility to Monty and the feasibility of some of his ideas. Is Monty a one-man band?
7. It's not that Monty's wrong on everything, it's just he cannot get over his basic contempt for journalists. This warps everything he touches. Doubts are raised about his understanding of readers and everything's done on the cheap. People tap their temples when they speak of him in hushed tones.
8. He’s fired and scuttles off several millions of euros wealthier.