Decisions (3): the Mail and Mirror
The sales graph shown in Chart 6.1 tells the story of popular newspaper competition. For more than 25 years the Daily Mirror was unchallenged ‘top of the POPS’, selling over four million copies daily. After Rupert Murdoch bought the Sun in 1969, his war of attrition — with page 3 nudes as a primary weapon — hit both the Mirror and the Express hard. Because of changes of management and editorial control, both had already become uncertain of their roles. For most of its peak years, the Mirror was under the editorial direction of Hugh Cudlipp (now Lord Cudlipp), an exuberant risk-taker and author of Publish and be Damned in 1968; he moved up to be group chairman after the removal of Cecil King (see Chapter 2). After that, the paper never again seemed as sure of itself. At the Express group, Lord Beaverbrook had died in 1964; and in 1977, after years of declining fortunes, his son sold out to the Trafalgar House conglomerate.
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© Alastair Hetherington 1985