The appointment of Bruce Guthrie as editor of News Ltd’s biggest selling daily newspaper, the Herald Sun, surprised a few observers because he is not your typical head-kicking Murdoch editor.
The biggest thing in his favour was that Guthrie knows plenty about the Herald Sun’s rival, The Age, from his tumultuous three year stint editing the broadsheet during the Kennett years.
However, don’t for a moment think that Rupert has adopted a policy of installing journalists with a record for quality and ethics as editors of his tabloid papers.
The jailing of The News of the World’s royal editor Clive Goodman for snooping on royal and celebrity voicemail boxes triggered the resignation of the paper’s editor, Andy Coulson.
The biggest selling paper in the English speaking world will now be edited by Col Allan’s deputy at the New York Post, Colin Myler, a hot-headed Liverpudlian with a dodgy tabloid record to boot. However, just like Guthrie, Myler has the all-important experience of editing the rival paper, in this case The Sunday Mirror.
Myler featured in Crikey last year after a drunken attack on Fairfax’s man in New York, Paul McGeough, and The SMH’s Spike column even followed up the yarn.
Private Eye has done him over in its latest edition, pointing that Myler regularly and expensively crossed the ethical line during his days with The Mirror and The Sunday Mirror.
Notably, he was the editor of The Sunday Mirror who published those appallingly intrusive photographs of Princess Diana at the gym. Myler was sacked from the same paper five years ago after publishing an interview that caused the collapse of the Leeds footballers trial. Check out the press release explaining his sacking in April 2001, this BBC piece on his resignation and some other coverage in The Guardian.
The bloke is obviously a complete goose, yet Rupert gave him a lifeline in New York and has now tapped him for a really prestigious tabloid gig that, unlike The New York Post, generates truckloads of cash to boot.
While Col Allan is thought to be delighted to see the back of Myler, he really should have warned Rupert about the dangers of the man. Insiders at The New York Post reckon Col regularly had to clean up Myler’s messes when he was left to put out the paper on his own.