Former Trinity Mirror executive Steve Brown has been appointed as the new chief executive of Claverley Group, parent company of the nation’s biggest selling regional newspaper, Wolverhampton’s Express & Star.
Brown will join Claverley, which also owns the Shropshire Star and a string of weekly papers through the Midlands News Association in addition to print and digital media businesses, in October.
He’ll then will take over as chief executive on 1 January, 2010, when Graham Evers retires from the post.
On retirement Evers, who has worked for the group for 32 years, will remain on the Claverley board taking up the vacant deputy chairman role.
Brown said: ‘The first thing is to get to know the company. I’ll get three months to get a really good look at it and work out how we move forwardâ€¦It’s a nicely balanced group with a well managed portfolio of titles.”
Brown left his role as managing director of Trinity Mirror’s north-east and Midlands divisions in April following a large restructure of the publisher’s regional operation.
His prompt departure brought an unexpected move from Trinity Mirror journalists in Newcastle who wrote to their chief executive, Sly Bailey, to condemn his departure.
Members of National Union of Journalists working on the Newcastle-based Evening Chronicle and the Journal expressed their “deep concern” about Brown leaving the company, despite him being the regional manager responsible for making dozens of their colleagues redundant.
The NUJ chapel at Ncjmedia even passed a vote of no confidence in the head of Trinity Mirror’s regional publishing division, Georgina Harvey, and questioned the future strategy of the publisher in the north-east as they called for Brown to be reinstated.