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Welcome to Lexington’s weekly round-up of media news and the latest moves in journalism. To subscribe please email communications@lexcomm.co.uk. 

MEDIA NEWS

Inside story

A new ‘landmark’ television series featuring former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre will explore how the newspaper has helped shape modern Britain. The World According to Paul Dacre, which is expected to air in early 2021, will ‘lift the lid’ on his 26-year tenure as editor.  A spokesperson for Channel 4 told the Guardian that Dacre will ‘share his unique insights into the events and the people who defined the front page of his newspaper’ as well as bringing to life ‘the decisions, debates and dilemmas that [he] faced throughout his tenure’. He is expected to discuss the death of Princess Diana, the murder of Stephen Lawrence, Tony Blair’s premiership and Brexit.

Marginal gains

The Guardian recorded the smallest year-on-year circulation drop out of all the paid-for national newspapers, according to July’s figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). The publication, which recently attributed an upturn in operational profit to growth in digital revenue, saw circulation drop by 5% to just over 130,000 copies. At the other end of the scale, the Sunday papers fared pretty badly, with the Sunday People and Daily Star Sunday both recording a year-on-year circulation drop of 18%. They were followed by the Sunday Post (17%) and Sunday Mirror (15%). The Sun remains the biggest selling paid-for newspaper in the UK, enjoying a circulation of nearly 1.3 million.

In comparison, some topical magazines are faring slightly better. Private Eye’s circulation held firm at around 233,000 readers on average per issue, while The Oldie recorded a 4% year-on-year increase. Prospect magazine’s circulation also stayed put at just under 45,000 per issue.

Break America

The Spectator is to launch a US print magazine one year after it unveiled a website for American readers. The first print copies will be available in October in New York and Washington DC and will cover politics, lifestyle, culture and travel. Content will be ‘about a 60/40 split’ between US content and ‘US-apt’ content from the UK edition. When the US website was launched in March 2018 from the publication’s London office, editor Freddy Gray said it would not be ‘crazily for or crazily against’ Donald Trump. Gray has since told Press Gazette that an average 20% month-on-month growth prompted the title to expand into print: ‘We believe in print even at a time when people don’t,’ he explained.

Too little, too late

The Government missed a four-month window to investigate a sale of stakes in the Independent and the Evening Standard to a Saudi investor, an appeals court has ruled. In June, the Government referred the sale of a proportion of the newspapers to the Competition and Markets Authority citing concerns over freedom of expression and accurate reporting. But the parent companies of the newspapers, owned by the Russian businessman Evgeny Lebedev, challenged the decision. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has expressed that it is ‘disappointed with the outcome’ and has until September to appeal the ruling.

CONVERSATION OF THE WEEK

MEDIA MOVES

Will Hazell has joined The i paper as an education correspondent.

Adam Parsons has started his role as Europe correspondent at Sky News.

Jeremy Cliffe will be leaving his role as Belgium bureau chief at The Economist to join the New Statesman as its international editor.

David Grossman is moving from his role as the BBC’s technology editor to BBC Newsnight’s US correspondent.

Olivia Minnock has been appointed editor at Fintech Alliance.

Madeline Ratcliffe is now an economics producer at Sky News.

Charlotte Ivers is joining talkRADIO as a politics producer.

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