Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bill corrects David on Bridget about The People

In the venerable Press Gazette the venerable editor of the British Journalism Review, Bill Hagerty, who was once the editor of The People (sometimes called the Sunday People) – he succeeded the venerable but late Richard Stott - quite rightly corrects the venerable former Mirror editor, David Banks, on the matter of whether the not-so-venerable former editor of the doomed People, Dame Bridget Rowe CBE, MBE (gongs added to draw attention to absence), raised or lowered the circulation of last. She didn’t raise. As Bill writes, he left the title with a weekly circulation of just over a 2m while psycho successor Rowe flushed herself away at 1.77m. Banks is a friend of Rowe.

Quite how Rowe managed to lose so few copies (for contrast, I believe Stott managed to let go of about 400,000 readers in just over a year) is worthy of thought, yet I feel that the question cannot be fully answered until we know the truth behind the People's Phantom Sales Scandal, first raised by the venerable pundit Stephen Glover in The Spectator (1998). He discovered that 130,000+ copies of the People had been recorded as dispatched to a promotions company but which had never been received. The figure had been included in the sales audit nonetheless. Glover never did get to the bottom of this mystery. “Could the whole exercise have been a ruse to boost the circulation of the People when its sales were flagging?” he asked. He even called the Mirror Group CEO at the time, David Montgomery. He didn’t get back so far as I know.

For more on this story click here.

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