Former News of the World editor is back - as editor-in-chief at Mort
Zuckerman's New York Daily News
News of the World editor Colin Myler has been appointed
editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News. Photograph:
The man who was editing the News of the World when it was closed by
Rupert Murdoch, and whose editorship of the Sunday Mirror ended after
his paper collapsed a trial, is back – this time at Mort Zuckerman's New
York Daily News.
Myler knows New York, having spent the first half of the last decade as
a senior executive at Murdoch's New York Post. The coming battle with
the Post will be quite some boxing match.
Yet, Zuckerman's appointment is hardly short on risk. Though Myler was
not caught up in the phone-hacking scandal, his editorship of the News
of the World had its controversial moments. If Murdoch's Post feels a
little shy about bringing them up, there are plenty in New York who
will. And that's before every public, police and parliamentary inquiry
Let's recap the issues:
• The who knew what and when question about the extent of phone hacking
at the News of the World. Myler's editorship came after the hacking, of
course, but square in the middle of the time when the Murdoch machine
said it was all down to a "single rogue reporter". News International
seems to find a new email on this topic every week.
• The row about whether it was right to expose Max Mosley's
sadomasochistic orgies. And whether it was right to post a video of the
motorsport boss on the internet.
• The decision to publish Kate
McCann's personal diary without her consent. Kate McCann's daughter,
Madeleine McCann, was abducted while she and her husband were on holiday
• The ongoing criminal inquiries into corrupt payments to police
officers at the News of the World. Several reporters who worked under
Myler and his predecessors have been arrested. Let's be clear – there is
no evidence that links Myler to any of this. But it is not certain what
could be thrown up: after all just an embarrassing story could cause the
new editor some concern.
Of course Myler's editorships are not without achievement – the exposure
of Pakistani cricket corruption being one. But there is no shortage of
material for US critics to reheat and replay – and while Myler may have
heard it all before, the question is, what will the News's readers think
when they hear it for the first few times?
Paul Dacre, the editor-in-chief of London's formidable Daily Mail, wrote
that the secret of editorship was determining when to be cautious and
when to be bold. Easy to say, hard to do. But does Myler's track record
show he has good judgement in this area? What is for sure is that
Zuckerman, the owner, has been very bold indeed