JOHNSTON Press, the publisher of The Scotsman, yesterday appointed former News International executive Neil Jones to the newly created post of commercial and marketing director.
Jones, who has been commercial strategy director at the publisher of the Sun and the Times for the past three years, will be based in London and will report directly to chief executive Ashley Highfield.
As part of Highfield’s strategic review, Jones will be responsible for creating and then driving the group’s commercial strategy, including advertising and marketing activities.
Jones began his advertising career in 1986 with Saatchi & Saatchi before moving to Zenith in 1988 and media buying and planning agency Carat in 1991.
He spent 17 years at Carat, including the final three as managing director, before joining News International.
During his tenure as managing director, Carat brought in £500 million of work.
Highfield said: “I am really delighted that we have attracted someone of Neil’s calibre to this important new role which will be key to top-line growth.
“Neil will drive our national advertising sales, devise new joined-up propositions for advertisers across print and digital, and oversee all commercial revenues including circulation.”
Jones added: “Johnston Press is leading the transformation of regional media and I am delighted to be joining Johnston at such an exciting time for the industry.
“Ashley Highfield has an inspiring vision for the future and I look forward to commercially bringing it to life.”
Johnston Press publishes more than 230 weekly newspapers in the UK and Ireland and operates in excess of 220 websites, along with mobile phone sites and iPad apps.
The company’s titles include the Edinburgh Evening News, Scotland on Sunday and the Yorkshire Post.
Highfield, who launched the iPlayer television catch-up service for the BBC, joined Johnston Press last year from Microsoft.
In March he outlined his ideas for increasing the amount of money the company makes from its online activities, as well as a relaunch of all its local newspapers and moves to turn some daily titles into weeklies.
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