The Media in the Press 29.1.2010

Second-year journalism student, Sian Lower, of Edinburgh Napier University, takes a look at the top media stories making it into today’s press.

The focal media story today is that of Royal Mail boss, Adam Crozier, who was yesterday announced as the new chief executive for ITV. The Scotsman’s Craig Brown (page 6) writes: “Broadcaster ITV’s search for a chief executive reached a conclusion yesterday when the company appointed controversial Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier. The commercial channel had been searching for a new chief executive after talks with former BSkyB chief, Tony Ball, collapsed in September due to his pay demands. The appointment ends a period of boardroom uncertainty at the business, which has suffered from an advertising slump in the recession.”

'Mail Boss Takes Over at ITV', is the headline on page 2 of the Daily Record, which reports: “Crozier, 46, born in Falkirk, will take up the reins at ITV later this year.”

The Times’ Alexi Mostrous and Ian King also cover the story on page 12, writing: “ITV poached Adam Crozier, the head of Royal Mail, to be its chief executive yesterday. The job is the third high-profile position for Mr Crozier, 46, after three years as chief executive at the Football Association – where he raised profits but clashed with club chairmen – and seven years running Royal Mail, which he transformed from an organisation losing £1 million a day to one making daily profits of £1 million.”

Becky Barrow and Paul Revoir of the Scottish Daily Mail (page 12) also writes: “The boss of Royal Mail quit abruptly yesterday to take the helm at ITV after making a ‘car crash’ of the once great post service,” while The Independent’s Nick Clark (page 5) seems even less enthused, saying: “Archie Norman, who started as ITV’s chairman at the beginning of the month, unveiled Crozier, saying he was, 'exactly right to lead the transformation” of ITV despite his lack of broadcasting experience'.” 

It's a tone continued by George Arbuthnott, on page 4 of The Herald: “Despite never working in television before, Mr Crozier will take up the reins at the broadcaster later this year.”

Meanwhile, Apple’s new ‘iPad’ has attracted much media attention. Page 20 of today’s Scotsman bears the headline: ‘Mobile Phone Giants Clamour for iPad but Experts not so Sure’, followed by Craig Brown’s article, which reads: “It was unveiled little more than 24 hours ago, but already a bidding war between mobile phone companies is rumoured to have developed as they try to cash in on Apple’s new iPad. Though the launch in San Francisco by Apple head, Steve Jobs, was watched globally, the tablet-style computer will not be available in the UK until March, and mobile phones operator Orange is now said to be in a race with it’s competitors O2 and Vodafone to provide the devices’ “3G” mobile internet connection when it arrives.”

The Times’ Mike Harvey (page 63) also covers the story: “Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has already laid down the gauntlet to Amazon and it’s Kindle, stating that the internet retailers’ e-reader was merely a pioneer device.” Jobs is quoted: “We’re going to stand on their shoulders and go a bit further.”

Hunter Davies – of the Scottish Daily Mail – isn’t fond of the idea (page 23): “Rarely has a gadget been so hyped – the iPad’s just iPointless!” and The Independent's Nick Clark (page 51) writes: “Mobile phone operators in the UK are preparing to open talks with Apple in the coming days about providing 3G internet services to the new iPad device when it arrives… Apple is expected to ship the Wi-Fi only versions of the iPad to the UK in March.”

The Scottish Sun’s Dave Masters (page 56) writes of the reaction to Apple’s latest creation: “Gadget fans everywhere are talking about the new iPad. Within minutes of the hotly anticipated launch on Wednesday, thousands had gone online to mock the gizmo.” The Guardian’s technology editor, Charles Arthur (page 51), talks money: “Apple has surprised would-be buyers of its new iPad touch screen computer by saying it will not announce UK prices before the global launch of the device in March.” 

More criticism, meanwhile, for the the BBC, this time over studio expenditure when covering football's Euro 2008 football tournament. The Daily Record’s Mark Jeffries (page 24) writes: “The BBC squandered £250,000 of licence fee cash on a studio at Euro 2008 because they did not like the view from one provided for them. The Broadcasting Centre in Vienna did not have an 'editorially suitable camera shot of key buildings', according to the Beeb.” 

Patrick Foster (The Times’ media correspondent) also covers this story on page 31: “The BBC spent £250,000 building a studio from which to present the Euro 2008 football championships because the original did not have a picturesque view of Vienna, the National Audit Office is quoted as saying yesterday.” Page 33 of the Scottish Sun tells the same story: “The BBC has been criticised by MPs for blowing £250,000 on a new studio for the Euro 2008 football – because producers didn’t like the one provided.”

Also, HDTV has apparently helped BSkyB’s profits. The Times’ media editor, Alexi Mostrous (page 57), writes: “Burgeoning demand for high-definition television helped BSkyB to lift underlying profits to £471 million in the first half”, while Sarah Arnott of The Independent tells of a huge rise in custom for the company (page 51): “BSkyB is continuing to defy the downturn with the pace of its expansion, adding 172,000 customers in the last 3 months of 2009 thanks to the stellar performance of its HD television channels.”

Others media stories gracing today’s press:

* MSP's Demand Re-think on Ad Law Change That Could Kill Newspapers: “MSP’s have demanded that the Scottish Government reverses a decision to allow councils to stop advertising in newspapers.” – The Scotsman (page 24).

* “Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, yesterday said strong sales of Smartphones and lower costs helped net profits rise 65 per cent to $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter, despite a 5.3 per cent fall in sales.” – The Scotsman (page 3, Business).

* “The BBC spent £580,000 a day on its Glastonbury coverage, making the total bill for the three-day music festival £1.74 million, a report by the National Audit Office has revealed.” – Scottish Daily Mail (page 24).

* “The BBC has failed to show that its coverage of major sporting and music events provides the best possible value for money.” – The Herald (page 3).