Russell Reported to Have Rallied the Troops

The new editor of The Herald newspaper is reported to have made a good impression among his staff, following his first address to them.

Jonathan Russell – who took up the reins of the paper yesterday – addressed the editorial staff this afternoon. One insider noted how his speech was greeted with applause, in stark contrast to the mood which followed the cost-cutting agenda which kicked off the early stewardship of his predecessor, Donald Martin.

The tone of the speech is said to have been about how the strength of the journalism at the paper can be harnessed to tackle the challenges of declining circulation.

It is understood there was emphasis too on the importance of a strong front page, as already evidenced in today's edition of the paper, which saw an exclusive by UK political editor, Michael Settle, accompanied by a huge photograph of Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi.

In fact, above the newspaper's fold, essentially all that was on view were two puffs – for content inside – plus the headline to the story – about Labour leader, hopeful, David Milliband, saying the release, on compassionate grounds, of al Megrahi, from a Scottish prison a year ago, was wrong – and the top of the photograph.