Geordie Greig has been removed as editor of the Daily Mail after just three years in office, in a move that could change the recently hostile relationship between the right-wing newspaper and Downing Street.
The move follows the announcement on Monday that the Daily Mail’s parent company would modify its executive team to promote a key executive online at the expense of London-based staff with experience in print newspapers.
Until now, the highly profitable print edition of the Daily Mail, which is the UK’s best-selling newspaper and retains substantial political influence, had continued to operate almost entirely independently of the more celebrity-focused MailOnline website.
This relatively strict separation is now expected to change, although a full merger between the outlets is not anticipated at this stage.
In recent weeks, Greig’s newspaper has been one of the fiercest critics of Boris Johnson’s handling of corruption allegations, helping to force Downing Street to take a 180-degree turn in its handling of the matter. Owen Paterson.
His outlet also exposed how Conservative MP Geoffrey Cox earned hundreds of thousands of pounds working in the Caribbean while representing a tax haven in legal proceedings involving the British government. The front page headline “Shameless MPs Sink Again into Sleaze” ran, accusing politicians of “moral bankruptcy” for their attempts to prevent Paterson from being punished after he was found to have violated parliamentary rules.
Daily Mail staff suggested Greig was caught off guard by Monday’s decision to promote Richard Caccappolo, a New York-based American media executive, to become CEO of the company’s media business.
Caccappolo has worked with MailOnline editor Martin Clarke to turn the website into a global success story.
A source said the decision to replace Greig was a “Clarke takeover.”
Greig will be replaced by Mail on Sunday editor Ted Verity, who will oversee both titles, hinting that the sister newspapers could increasingly operate as a combined operation.
So far they have had separate editorial and staffing agendas, but there are no plans to appoint a full-time replacement Sunday editor.
Verity is a close ally of former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre and spent years serving as deputy editor before being named Mail on Sunday editor in 2018.
He took the remaining supporting document and made it pro-Brexit, while critically reporting on Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The royal family member subsequently sued the newspaper after the Mail on Sunday obtained and published a letter it sent to his father, with legal proceedings still ongoing in high court.
Last year, Verity wrote a letter to the Guardian defending its newspaper’s coverage of Marcus Rashford’s investments in houses to buy to rent. Verity insisted her coverage was not part of a racist “right-wing plot” to discredit the England footballer’s campaign to force the government to provide free school meals to children. Instead, he said it was “just an interesting story” and that “it’s only people on the left who think there’s something wrong with becoming a rent-to-own owner.”
The announcement of Greig’s departure was made by Lord Rothermere, the majority shareholder of the parent company of the Daily Mail. He is in the process of taking the business off the stock market and returning it to private ownership as part of a complicated series of financial transactions that will result in a reduced media business that will also own titles, including the UK edition of the Metro and newspaper i.
It comes just days after The Guardian revealed that Greig’s predecessor Paul Dacre, one of the leading candidates for the position of Ofcom’s chairman, had left the company after more than 40 years with the company.
Greig said: “I thank everyone who has worked with me; my colleagues have been heroic and inspiring. I wish my successor, Ted Verity, good luck and also good luck to the Mail. I look forward to new opportunities in the future and will bring the best of what I learned from my years at the Mail, which I first joined in 1983 as your youngest reporter on the night shift. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism