WSJ’s Patience Wheatcroft becomes Tory Lady Wheatcroft – and quits

Not many people know this but Patience Wheatcroft, just ennobled as a Tory peer by PM David Cameron, was my first news editor at a now extinct property magazine called Estates Times.

Patience was obviously destined for high things (although none of us thought they would be quite this high).

But she went, via the Daily Mail City pages then run by the debonair Patrick Sergeant, to the Sunday Times Business News and then The Times by way of Retail Week, the still well-respected trade mag she set up with her husband Tony Salter.

Retail week was backed by research supremo Bernard Audley of Audits of Great Britain (AGB) which then fell into the maw of crooked media mogul Robert Maxwell when he bought AGB’s magazine business (AGB eventually became part of TNS which is now part of WPP).

The nascent Media Week got caught up in this ghastly business too.

Maxwell, as was his wont, proceeded to rape the AGB pension fund, something Patience never forgot and, as City editor of The Times, she hammered former Labour chancellor Gordon Brown for years over his vicious assault on final salary pension schemes.

Anyway it was onwards and upwards for Patience and she eventually left The Times (although they should have made her editor) to become editor of the Sunday Telegraph, at which point she fell foul of editor-in-chief Will Lewis who was more interested in journalists making podcasts than writing stuff.

Then her old Times boss Robert Thomson lured her back into journalism (she’d briefly been a director of Barclay’s Bank) to run the European edition of Rupert Murdoch’s newly-acquired Wall Street Journal.

It’s hard to see how good a job she did at the WSJ unless you’re a subscriber (and I’m not).

But I suspect Patience probably thinks she’s done her journo bit, with great distinction although not quite the platform of a great national paper.

And no doubt she’ll be a capable and hard-working peer, who should be involved in any serious discussions about matters media.

Anyway she’s a great gal, despite being a Tory.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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