Trinity Mirror announces major restructure

Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has announced a major management restructure and the merging of its nationals and regionals division as new CEO Simon Fox looks to create a “more efficient model” for the business.

Mirror

The nationals and regionals divisions will now work under one management structure, meaning editorial, advertising and support functions will now be “unified”. Trinity Mirror says in a statement that the move will enable an “accelerated” rollout of digital products to drive revenue.

The consolidated publishing operations will be managed by Mark Hollinshead, who is switching role from managing director of the nationals division to become chief operating officer and executive director.

As a consequence of the merger, Georgina Harvey, who is currently managing director of Trinity’s regional division, and Nick Fullagar, director of corporate communications, will be leaving the business.

Digital product development and specialist digital businesses within the group – such as recruitment, property and digital marketing services – and Trinity’s contract printing operations will now be separately managed and report directly to Fox, the chief executive.

Meanwhile, Trinity has also confirmed it is to close its daily deals business Happli, which launched in March this year. It had hoped when it launched that Happli would deliver £20m in revenue by 2014, but it now says the business in unlikely to reach sufficient scale to become profitable. Happli staff are now in consultation.

Fox, who replaced Sly Bailey as Trinity Mirror’s CEO in August, says he believes the changes will create “One Trinity Mirror” with a “unique” portfolio of brands and the best structure to develop in the long term.

He adds: “It has very quickly been confirmed to me that Trinity Mirror is a business with great brands, passionate and dedicated people and significant unrealised potential. 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.”

Fox promises to provide a strategic update in early 2013. Current trading is currently “in line with the board’s expectations”, with an interim management statement due on 8 November.

Trinity Mirror reported a 4 per cent year on year drop in revenue to £356m in the six months to 1 July. Operating profit, however, was up 11.5 per cent to £52.5m in the period.

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