Media: Lifeline - Sly Bailey at Trinity Mirror

Two years into her reign, the Trinity Mirror chief executive is winning the City round.

February 2003: The City is more than a little sceptical when Sly Bailey, the chief executive of IPC Media, is lured to the top job at Trinity Mirror. Analysts point in particular to her lack of newspaper experience. On the other hand, she has proved herself an effective manager since becoming the youngest-ever member of the IPC board in 1994 at the age of 31.

July 2003: Bailey (pictured) announces the results of her strategic review. It's hard-hitting stuff: 550 jobs are to go, the Irish newspapers are to be sold and mediocre supplements closed. The national titles are not to be sold but are to be made "fun" again - especially the Daily Mirror.

February 2004: Bailey marks her first anniversary as the Trinity Mirror chief executive by ending the Daily Mirror's protracted cover price war with The Sun. But the title is in poor shape. Despite the cover price cuts and a string of royal scoops in 2003, the Mirror's circulation is still ebbing away and is now well below the psychologically important two-million mark.

August 2004: Bailey sacks Mirror editor, Piers Morgan (pictured), for publishing fake pictures of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, and the title is adrift. Morgan's serious approach in the wake of 9/11 had been a turn-off. The paper is in danger of becoming a laughing stock.

Now: Into the third year of her reign, Bailey's policies seem vindicated as Trinity Mirror reports a 21 per cent increase in profits and it now promises to buy more regional newspapers. The City applauds. But the Daily Mirror remains a worry - circulation is now 1.7 million and Bailey admits there will be no easy way to win back once-loyal readers.

Fast forward: 2007 - Having made a string of astute acquisitions, Trinity Mirror is even more skewed towards regional media, where Bailey proves ever more successful at increasing margins and profitability. So she jumps at an offer for the Mirror stable, made by a consortium including the Hinduja brothers, Alastair Campbell and the ex-prime minister Tony Blair.