Johnston Press, owner of The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, is expected to appoint John Fry, currently chief executive at Archant, to replace Tim Bowdler in the same role. Bowdler announced plans to step down from his role earlier this year.
Bowdler is expected to retire in May next year, but it is believed he could leave earlier. He has spent more than 13 years with Johnston Press.
Fry, who joined Archant in 2002, currently oversees 60 newspaper titles and a number of regional magazines. The privately-owned company has yet to announce a replacement for Fry.
Regional publishers have been hit particularly hard by the downturn in the advertising market. Johnston Press, which has over 300 titles, reported a fall of 9.5% in ad revenue during the first six months of this year, while profits also fell by 18% compared with the same 2007 period.