To anyone who can remember the high old days of Fleet Street, when the nation’s hacks proudly strutted their stuff, although not necessarily in the straightest of lines, the notion of the Express and Mirror getting together seems downright preposterous.
In the 1950s and 60s the Daily Express was the biggest selling paper in the UK – and maybe the world – only to be supplanted by the left-leaning Daily Mirror. this was then toppled by Rupert Murdoch’s Sun which the Mirror management had unwisely sold to the Aussie interloper.
But national newspapers are in headlong retreat these days, blitzed by the online revolution, and so Trinity Mirror CEO Simon Fox (left) is talking to Express owner Richard Desmond – careful Simon – about some kind of deal.
Desmond makes money from his newspapers by running them on a shoestring. TM still has lots of money in the bank although that’s steadily draining away and may do so rather more quickly if its phone hacking travails get worse.
One factor bedevilling all UK newspaper owners is print capacity: as circulations wither away there’s far too much of it. The Express and Mirror titles getting together would make sense from that point of view.
But the rabidly right wing Express in bed with the cloth-capped left wing Mirror?
Previous owners and editors from the two camps will be turning in their grave. But unless something drastic happens soon, that’s where the whole British newspaper industry will be anyway.