SIMON Fox, the new chief executive of newspaper group Trinity Mirror, has unveiled a management reshuffle that will see its national and regional divisions come under one structure.
Mark Hollinshead, the managing director of its national newspaper operation and head of Media Scotland, which groups together the company’s Scottish papers, including the Daily Record and the Sunday Mail, becomes chief operating officer of the consolidated company and wins a role on the main board.
As a result of the “flatter” management structure, Fox also confirmed the departure of Georgina Harvey, regionals managing director, and Sara Wilde, regional sales director, in what has been seen as a significant reduction in women at the top of the media company. Fox replaced previous chief executive Sly Bailey after she resigned ahead of a shareholder rebellion over her £1.7 million a year pay packet.
Nick Fullagar , the long-standing director of corporate communications, will also be leaving the business.
In a letter to staff, published yesterday, and just five weeks after his arrival, Fox said “we are a business with great brands, passionate and dedicated people and enormous potential” but added that it had “become increasingly clear that we have a disconnect between what we all want and what our financial projections are showing”.
He added: “What has become clear in my first few weeks is that realising this potential requires a flatter and more efficient management structure that connects strategic decision-making more closely with the journalistic heart of the business.”
The company also announced it would shut its daily deals website, Happli, which it launched a little more than six months ago.
Trinity Mirror, which spent £10m on the website and hoped it could boost revenues by £20m over the next two years, said it was unlikely to be profitable in the near term. The daily deals division employed just over 30 staff. Fox said the group had begun consultation with affected employees and “will seek to utilise the assets and capabilities built by Happli in other parts of the business, particularly reader offers”.
Fox, who was branded by the chairman David Grigson as a “thoroughly likeable bloke” on his arrival, joined Trinity from struggling entertainment group HMV. Yesterday, he said he would provide a strategic update early next year.
The publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and the People has been battling falling advertising and circulation revenues. The group, which also confirmed that trading remained in line with expectations, said the changes – dubbed “One Trinity Mirror” – would ensure that editorial, advertising and support functions would operate as effectively as possible across the print and digital operations.
Hollinshead’s new role comes with a £375,000-a-year salary, with the potential to be awarded with bonuses worth 75 per cent of his annual pay – or £280,000.
Shares in Trinity Mirror rose 4.17 per cent, or 2.75p, to 69.5p on the news.
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