Battered British tabloid The Mirror is to be managed by the former marketing chief of its arch rival The Sun.

The one-time Sun executive is Ellis Watson, newly hired by The Mirror’s owner, Britain’s biggest newspaper group Trinity Mirror, to head its national titles.

New Trinity boss Sly Bailey lured Watson from his current role as managing director of Celador International - the TV production firm responsible for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? - to become general manger of the struggling Mirror Group Newspapers unit. He leaves Celador at the start of next month.

In his new post, Watson will take responsibility for the advertising, marketing and circulation of titles such as The Mirror and The People, and will also sit on the group’s executive committee. His appointment follows Bailey’s dismissal of Mirror marketing boss Alisdair Luxmoore [WAMN: 24-Apr-03].

In his years at Rupert Murdoch’s News International, Watson became known for his outspoken style as marketing director for titles such as The Sun and the News of the World.

“Ellis has enormous commercial experience in media and, in particular, national newspapers,” eulogized Bailey. “He will bring a renewed commercial focus and vigour to the operation.”

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff