Thursday, July 14, 2011

Alex Marunchak

Alex Marunchak, 60, spend most of his working life with the News of The World. No word of what he did up to the age of 26, but that's when he joined the Slough Observer. Thence to the Middlesex Chronicle and the Evening Echo, before moving to NOTW in 1981.

He rose through crime reporter and chief crime reporter to deputy news editor in 1987, and news editor from 1992 to 1995. Piers Morgan (then 28) became editor of the paper in 1994, and Alex's titles improved further.  "Assistant Editor (news)", and then "Associate Editor". Under Phil Hall, Alex became Senior Executive Editor from 1998 - a title he held til he left.  Alex's entry in Debrett's (which presumably he supplied) says he departed in 2011; his entry on Linkedin says he went in 2009; News International say the parting of the ways came in 2006. He seemed to have been responsible for the Irish edition of the paper at the end - and this was the subject of a Panorama in March this year. Marunchak's denials of wrongdoing in this Press Gazette interview are forceful - but slightly narrow.  Old BBC colleague Graham McLagan followed Marunchak's activities in 2002 - and probably never got the outlets the story deserved.  Ironically, it was the collapse of the Jonathan Rees murder trial in March this year which cleared the way for the current onslaught on the News of The World's investigative methods.

Other roles Alex is proud of - Special advisor to the Embassy of Ukraine 1999; chairman, North Westminster Young Libs 1979-81, culminating in an unsuccesful bid to become a Westminster City Councillor. He was chairman of the Ukrainian Society 1981-82. At the News of The World, it was believed he and Greg Miskiw, as well as running the newsdesk, had an import/export business, with vodka amongst their lines. New reporters would be asked to buy a bottle of vodka on arrival in the newsroom. Alex and Greg were said to hold conversations in Ukrainian when discussing some stories.  Other bloggers say that Miskiw and Marunchak's prized possession at the newsdesk was a photo of Silvio Berlusconi's private parts, which they were hoping could be used one day...

Since departing Wapping, Alex has freelanced for the Mail (most recent byline February 2011), but his byline has also appeared in the Sunday Mirror, The Telegraph and the Belfast Telegraph (including a January 2009 feature on Eamonn Holmes and his weight problems).  He's moved from his W2 address to a white-stucco-ed villa on the Watford Way, not far from Apex Corner.

1 comment:

  1. Where's Wally ... here maybe?


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