Paul Dacre appointed editor-in-chief of Daily Mail parent company

Move comes after former Daily Mail editor pulled out of the running to be next Ofcom chairman

Paul Dacre has returned to the Daily Mail publisher as editor-in-chief of the newspaper’s parent company after pulling out of the running to be the next chair of the media regulator, Ofcom.

His appointment at the helm of DMG Media comes days after his rival, Geordie Greig, was ousted as Daily Mail editor and less than three weeks since Dacre parted ways with the publishing group where he has spent 42 years.

Dacre’s appointment was announced to staff in an email from Jonathan Harmsworth, the fourth Viscount Rothermere, who is the chair of the Daily Mail and General Trust. “Although he will not be involved in day-to-day editing, he will be taking an active role advising me and the editors,” Rothermere said.

It comes after Rothermere announced he is close to concluding transactions that will allow him to take the parent company DMGT off the stock market and have total private control over the Daily Mail and its sister titles.

The return of Dacre to his former employer, where he will also have influence over the Metro and i titles, comes after a brief dalliance with the public sector in the form of a potential move to Ofcom. He disengaged from that race last week – describing the process of civil service recruitment as an “infelicitous dalliance with the blob” in a letter to The Times – after concerns were raised about the transparency of the recruitment process.

After failing in his first attempt when an interview panel decided he did not fulfil the required criteria, ministers cleared the way for him to be given another shot.

But after the Guardian revealed a lobbyist at a company with close connections to the Conservative party was picked to help select which candidates should be approved, Dacre announced he would not proceed with an application again despite being urged to “by many senior members of the government”. He said he was taking up “an exciting new job” in the private sector.

His move back to the Mail is effectively a reappointment. Despite standing down as editor of the Daily Mail in 2018, he had remained on the payroll after being given the largely honorific positions of chair and editor-in-chief of parent company Associated Newspapers.

On Monday, the news of his return was greeted with surprise among staff at the company’s titles. One reading was that the tenure of Greig – a remain-backing former editor of Tatler and friend of David Cameron – was an experiment to detoxify the Mail image, which the company had now decided to abandon.

Dacre, one of the leading media campaigners for Brexit, had been rarely seen in the Daily Mail newsroom after moving upstairs to an office on the executive floor of the company’s Northcliffe House headquarters after Greig’s appointment in June 2018 but had used his position to criticise his successor.

In one intervention, Dacre wrote a letter to the Financial Times accusing Greig of being “economic with the actualité” when it came to suggesting advertisers thought the newspaper had become too toxic. He also accused Greig of failing to pay enough respect to his journalistic achievements.

By contrast, Dacre has had a close working relationship with the Mail on Sunday’s editor, Ted Verity, who will be taking charge of a new seven-day operation that will cover Grieg’s role at the Daily Mail.

He has also worked well with Martin Clarke, DMG Media publisher and the executive who oversees online operations. He said in a statement issued by the company on Monday: “Nobody has done more to make the Mail titles what they are today than Paul Dacre and I am honoured to be working with him.”


Ben Quinn

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre paid £1.7m
Salary package for Associated Newspapers editor-in-chief down more than £1m on 2010 remuneration after restructuring of incentive scheme. By Mark Sweney

Mark Sweney

12, Jan, 2012 @11:19 AM

Article image
Paul Dacre paid almost £2.7m in final year as Daily Mail editor
Mail’s chairman praises outgoing chief for ‘ensuring financial stability of the titles’

Mark Sweney

07, Dec, 2018 @12:51 PM

Article image
Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre's pay jumps 50% to almost £2.5m
Editor-in-chief of Mail titles earns £1.45m in salary plus £856,000 payout from company’s long-term investment plan

Mark Sweney

11, Dec, 2017 @3:14 PM

Article image
Paul Dacre sells nearly three-quarters of Daily Mail company shares
Editor-in-chief sells 100,207 shares in parent company Daily Mail & General Trust at £4 each, leaving him just 37,207

Simon Neville

30, May, 2012 @3:06 PM

Article image
Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre earned £1.8m in year to 30 September
Dacre continues to be best-paid UK newspaper editor, securing inflation-busting pay rise of 5% for current financial year. By Mark Sweney

Mark Sweney

10, Jan, 2013 @6:17 PM

Article image
Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre's pay rises to £1.85m
Mail veteran continues to be best-paid UK newspaper editor, taking home £500,000 'supplement' on top of his base salary. By Mark Sweney

Mark Sweney

07, Jan, 2014 @4:47 PM

Article image
Daily Mail's Paul Dacre sees pay fall by almost 40%
Daily Mail editor-in-chief moves to new long-term incentive scheme taking home £1.48m in 2015, down from £2.4m in previous year

Mark Sweney

18, Dec, 2015 @11:19 AM

Article image
Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre's pay hits £1.64m
Daily Mail & General Trust annual report reveals paper achieved second highest ever profit. By Stephen Brook

Stephen Brook

08, Dec, 2009 @6:32 PM

Article image
Paul Dacre earnings up by nearly 25% to £2.4m in 2014
Annual report reveals more details of Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Mail Online editor-in-chief’s new remuneration arrangements

Jason Deans

22, Dec, 2014 @1:03 PM

Article image
Daily Mail poaches new MailOnline editor from Murdoch's Fox
Noah Kotch recruited from Fox News Digital to run website

Mark Sweney Media business correspondent

18, Jun, 2018 @10:14 PM