Express sees Hill as a star turn for the future

Express sees Hill as a star turn for the future

Media agencies speculated this week that Peter Hill's move from the editor's chair at the Daily Star to the hot seat at its mid-market stablemate, the Daily Express, could affect his new title's positioning in the commercial market.

Industry insiders say Express owner Richard Desmond hopes Hill, under whose editorship circulation at the Star has soared, will show the same Midas touch in his new post.

A gaping hole was left at the Express by the departure of Chris Williams, who was poached by Desmond's sparring partner, Associated Newspapers, to edit the Scottish edition of the Daily Mail.

The PR coup for Associated could, however, prove to be short-lived as many see Hill as having as good a track record as Williams over the past year - if not better.

Despite the fact the Express has experienced some commercial success in recent years, there has been a suggestion that its editorial output - focusing frequently on asylum seekers or pension issues - has pigeon-holed the product.

Noted Adam Crow, press director at PHD: "What Peter Hill did really well at the Star was distance himself from The Sun and the Daily Mirror.

"There must be a marketplace in Middle England for something different to the Daily Mail."

Although Audit Bureau of Circulation figures for the Star saw a drop in sales in November from the previous month, its year-on-year circulation figure is up nearly 17% to 908,000 Star deputy editor Dawn Neesom has been promoted to the top job at the paper.

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