Britain: Back to the Stradivarius

Cecil King, the autocratic chairman of Britain's International Publishing Corp., once waspishly characterized his protege, Editor Hugh Cudlipp, as "a very good first violin, but never really cast to be a conductor." Nevertheless, when King was deposed in a surprise boardroom revolt in 1968, I.P.C. directors picked Cudlipp as his successor. Ailing I.P.C. continued to flounder, so Cudlipp decided that he ought to turn in his baton and, as he put it, "get out my Stradivarius." Last week the Reed Group, a major British paper manufacturer, received government approval to take over...