3 September 2014

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Newsquest poaches top Johnston Press executive to lead company

Regional publisher Newsquest has named Johnston Press digital director Henry Faure Walker as its new chief executive.

Henry is to leave JP after 11 years to take over from Paul Davidson as boss of the US-owned newspaper company, which publishes more than 200 titles including 17 regional dailies.

Paul will continue as chairman of the company but will hand over the chief executive role to Henry from 1 April next year.

Newsquest announced the appointment in a statement issued at 1pm on Friday.

Said Paul:  “I am delighted that Henry will be joining Newsquest, and believe that his abilities to develop and implement strong digital strategies, as well as his appreciation of our print heritage, will further help build on our many successes.”

Added Henry:  “I am excited by this opportunity to lead Newsquest as it continues its rapid transformation into a vibrant multimedia business.

“It is a terrific company with a strong future, fully focused on providing the outstanding products and services consumers and customers want and need.”

Henry has been digital and business development director at JP for the past four years, responsible for building the company’s digital business and driving digital transformation across the organization.

He has been credited with the launch of a number of successful digital joint ventures in new markets and with having built a powerful digital team which recently oversaw the launch of all 196 of the company’s newspaper websites.

Before taking up the digital role, Henry was general manager of The Scotsman Publications Ltd.

JP chief executive Ashley Highfield said in an email to staff today: “The Board and I would like to thank Henry for his extremely valuable contribution to Johnston Press over the last ten years, and we wish him well in his new role.

“Whilst we are sad to see Henry leave, this is clearly a great opportunity for him and ringing endorsement of our strategy, that our digital lead has been hired to run a major regional newspaper group.

“Henry will continue to work in the business in the short term in order to manage an orderly handover of his responsibilities.”

Paul has been chief executive of Newsquest since 2003, having initially joined the company in 1988.  He announced earlier this year that he was planning to stand down as chief executive.

8 Comments

  1. Another anxious Newsquester

    Let’s hope the push for more digital content doesn’t result in Newquest’s papers being thrown out with the bathwater as that’s where most of the profits come from at the moment – off the back of hard-working staff who haven’t seen a pay rise in years!

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  2. Shipwreck

    So the Lusitania has appointed the Titanic’s first mate as its new captain…

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  3. Former colleague

    Good move by newsquest, HFW is a good operator who understands both print and digital. More importantly he is a decent intelligent human being

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  4. pedro

    digital does not make money.
    Local papers, with local, well rewarded staff to report local stories – something almost every regional publisher has forgotten – does sell.
    It’s not rocket science.

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  5. End media monopoly

    “Providing what the consumers and customers want.”
    Yes, but what about the readers…or don’t they matter any more?
    These media monopolies run a Mutual Admiration Society for those at the top.

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  6. JP Cost Cut Victim

    Well said Pedro. May I add I think local ad designers who can relate to the local businesses would improve ad sales. Digital will never make up for the fall in print advertising.

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  7. Bluestringer

    Pedro, there’s barely a regional or local paper in the country that isn’t struggling against tumbling circulations and even more precipitously falling revenue deficits.
    Digital actually does make money for most publishers now.
    Not as much as the printed newspapers, but sooner or later it will be the only game in town.
    It’s a case of adapt to survive.

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  8. PJ Robbo, Brighton

    !!!! SOS !!!

    Well if Henry Faure Walker is free,please send him straight down to the Brighton Argus before its too late,we are on 16k and falling readership :-(

    Help Help please come and rescue us please!

    !!!! SOS !!!

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