LONDON — Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre will return to work for the publisher DMG Media after quitting the race to become chairman of the U.K. broadcast regulator Ofcom.
Dacre, who edited the right-leaning newspaper for 26 years and then stayed on in an advisory role after retiring as editor, said last week he will not re-apply for the Ofcom post after he failed in his bid for the top job at the regulator earlier this year. Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly reopened the application process to give him another tilt at the job.
In a letter to the Times, Dacre wrote that unless you were “with the liberal/left, you will have more chance of winning the lottery than getting the job.”
He said Ofcom faced “the awesome challenge of trying to regulate the omnipotent, ruthless and, as we’ve learnt, amoral tech giants without damaging freedom of expression — a freedom I spent 28 years as an editor fighting for both publicly and privately with ministers.”
He questioned if Ofcom “whose chief executive is a brilliant career civil servant” had “the wherewithal to deal with such issues.”
Dacre will return to an advisory role as editor-in-chief of DMG Media just under three weeks after leaving, the company announced on Monday.
“Although he will not be involved in day-to-day editing, he will be taking an active role advising me and the editors,” Jonathan Harmsworth, the Fourth Viscount Rothermere who inherited ownership of the media empire, said in a statement issued by the publisher.
DMG Media publisher Martin Clarke said: “His journalistic courage and judgment are beyond equal and editors and executives the length of Fleet Street can testify personally to how much they owe to his encouragement and counsel,” he said.