MacKenzie departure disappoints agencies

By ANNA GRIFFITHS, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 12 June 1998 12:00AM

The shock departure of Kelvin MacKenzie from Mirror Group this week has been met with dismay by advertising and media agencies.

The shock departure of Kelvin MacKenzie from Mirror Group this week

has been met with dismay by advertising and media agencies.



MacKenzie, the deputy chief executive of Mirror Group, resigned on

Monday to head a consortium bidding for the UK radio station, Talk

Radio. It emerged on Tuesday that News International, MacKenzie’s former

employer during his time as editor of the Sun and Mirror Group’s

arch-rival, was backing MacKenzie’s bid.



Industry sources suggest that Rupert Murdoch, owner of News

International, was anxious to support anything MacKenzie did, as long as

it lured him away from the Mirror. MacKenzie leaves Mirror Group six

just months into his tenure.



During that time - in which MacKenzie assisted the Mirror’s editor Piers

Morgan - the Mirror showed signs of recovery, increasing its circulation

in the three months to March before a seasonal dip in April to

2,312,421.



Laura James, head of press at New PHD, said: ’From both an agency’s and

an advertiser’s perspective, for the first time in a long while it felt

as if the Mirror had some direction and a real editorial

positioning.



MacKenzie will be a loss. It’s the first time in a while that the Sun

has appeared vulnerable.’



Mirror Group’s share price dipped just 0.5p following the announcement,

with City analysts confident that MacKenzie had already established a

long-term recovery plan for the newspapers.



Lorna Tilbian, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: ’MacKenzie was in

place for six months and within that time imbued the Mirror with a new

sense of direction.



’He was instrumental in turning around the core future of the company

but it’s now in play.’



A Mirror Group spokesman said no replacement would be sought for

MacKenzie, whose post had been specifically created.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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