Thursday 23 March 2017

James Downey: Ink ran through veins of unique newspaperman

James Downey

James Downey

Vinnie Doyle was one of the greatest Irish editors of his time, probably of all time. In my opinion he had only one rival: his contemporary Douglas Gageby, the famous editor of the 'Irish Times'.

Gageby took over a newspaper which, though respected, was essentially a niche publication tainted with the "Anglo-Irish Ascendancy" tag. He increased massively the circulation, but also changed the nature of the circulation. Under him, it became a leading journal of opinion with a mainly Catholic readership.

Doyle had a harder task, which derived from the nature of the market. The 'Irish Times' has a secure position at the "top of the market". The Irish Independent always dominated, and still dominates despite intense competition, the middle of the market. This is a far more difficult position to hold.

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