Brexit could make the Mirror-Express honeymoon a short one | Media

Occasionally, even before the last of the confetti has fluttered to earth, you know a marriage is doomed – and the return of Boris, plus £350m a week rebates, sets the church organ playing dirges again.

Deep in the factual goldmine of Brexit, Trump and the Media (Artemis) is a Reuters Institute survey of the most extreme Leave or Remain bias among national newspapers at referendum time. Clear Leave winner, with 74% of news pushing leave against only 6% for Remain? Yes, the Daily Express. For Remain, with 50% of news confirming that message? Yes, the Daily Mirror.

Express editor Hugh Whittow writes a eulogy to his long-running campaign in that same book. We were “the first national newspaper to declare outright support for Ukip and he ran “the most significant and successful Daily Express campaign in living memory”.

No mention, oddly, of Richard Desmond, Ukip donor and retiring proprietor, who won’t be around soon to keep Whittow on track. So you wonder how group editorial away-days will go once Trinity Mirror has eaten the Express. Apart from severe indigestion, that is.

Metro for sale? Who’d have the cash?

Some newspaper takeover deals reach fruition; some don’t. And some may not quite exist in the first place. Lord Rothermere, writing internally to Associated staff, says the Metro isn’t for sale. Especially to Evgeny Lebedev and his Evening Standard. Ignore the papers claiming that it is.

You can see why Lebedev might like to put the Standard (900,000 free copies a day) and the Metro (1.47m) together: lots of synergies and prospects. What you can’t quite see is where the money’s coming from.

Print ad rates are drooping horribly. That must affect the Standard which, at best, has only managed a tiny profit. TV ads are forecast to decline next year. Bad news for London Live. Does Lebedev have £50m spare to bid for Metro? Is that why George Osborne has just taken his seventh job?

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