Johnston Press in group-wide management shake-up

Johnston Press has made a series of significant changes to its operational divisions leading to the departure of a further regional managing director and a slew of senior and mid-level appointments.

Margaret Hilton, the divisional managing director for Johnston Press’s newspapers in the North West of England, has left the company.

Her departure follows that of Chris Green, Johnston Press’s former divisional managing director in the North, who stepped down from his post last month.

A shake-up of the regional publishing group’s divisional structure will see Green’s replacement Steve Brown, who joins the company this week, take control of those papers in the North West previously overseen by Hilton as part of a new northern division.

A further change will see Sheffield Newspapers – the Johnston Press business which publishes the Sheffield Star; Wilfred Edmunds Newspapers – which publishes the Derbyshire Times and others; and Northern Notts Newspapers move from the group’s northern operation into its Midlands operation.

The Midlands operation, which will still be headed by Nick Mills, will consequently move its headquarters from Northampton to Sheffield.

In addition to these changes, Northeast Press – which publishes the Sunderland Echo – will move from Johnston Press’s old northern operation into its Scottish operation. This division will be renamed Scotland & Northeast England and be overseen by Scottish divisional managing director Michael Johnston.

These operational changes follow the appointment of Henry Faure Walker, previously general manager of the publisher’s Scotsman Publications division, as group digital and business development director.

Another national level change sees Chris Babayode, currently digital commercial director, appointed to the newly created post of group commercial director to oversee national sales.

Further changes in the Midlands division will see Richard Parkinson, currently managing director of Anglia Newspapers, appointed as managing director of East Midlands Newspapers. He replaces Amanda Davison-Young who left the group with immediate effect this week.

Parkinson will in turn be replaced at Anglian Newspapers by Jason Rewse-Davies, currently head of Yorkshire Regional Newspapers.

The vacancy created by Rewse-Davies’s appointment means Stephen Plews will take on the running of Yorkshire Regional Newspapers in addition to his role as managing director of both Ackrill Newspapers and Johnston Letterbox Direct.

Simon Kennedy, general manager of Northamptonshire Newspapers, has been made managing director of that business.

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