Media Lifeline: Sun editors

Dominic Mohan is but the latest to edit the paper whose grip on the zeitgeist still fascinates media types.

1981: Kelvin MacKenzie takes over as editor. The Sun has two of its most famous headlines - "Gotcha" in 1982 and "Freddie Starr ate my hamster" in 1986 - but his controversial coverage of Hillsborough still lingers. Circulation is well above four million by 1994.

1994: MacKenzie is replaced as the editor by Stuart Higgins, who continues to build sales. Under Higgins, the paper records its highest-ever circulation (albeit at a discounted 10p coverprice) of 4,889,188 in November 1995. Higgins is in the editor's chair when its owner, Rupert Murdoch, decides that the paper should back Tony Blair's Labour in the 1997 General Election.

1998: After Higgins, News International turns to the apparently more cerebral David Yelland, who is ridiculed by rivals at the Daily Mirror because of his lack of hair and choice in glasses. Circulation steadily declines from its peaks under Higgins but Yelland has some successes as the editor - including a memorable headline and "Scoop of the Year" with the 2000 "I'm only here for De Beers" when thieves try to raid a diamond from the Millennium Dome.

2003: Shockwaves around Wapping when Yelland is replaced by Rebekah Wade, the title's first female editor and former News of the World editor. Speculation surrounds the future of page three, but Wade remains committed to The Sun's iconic feature.

September 2009: Wade, now Rebekah Brooks, rises to become the chief executive of NI. Dominic Mohan, her deputy and the former editor of The Sun's Bizarre showbiz column, is named as The Sun's new editor. His appointment is perhaps a reflection that The Sun has become increasingly known for its entertainment coverage. The bookmaker Paddy Power offers odds of three to one that Mohan will increase circulation by more than 2 per cent.

Fast forward ...

September 2012: As Murdoch steps up his attempts to charge for online content, he appoints the Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington as the editor of The Sun, which he plans to take mainly online. Huffington's strategy to combine The Sun's renowned showbiz content with support for the Liberal Democrats at the Election confuses readers and columnist Kelvin MacKenzie is reinstated as the editor.

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