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Three MDs depart in regional publisher’s ‘radical changes’

Three regional managing directors will leave a newspaper publisher as part of a management restructure.

Trinity Mirror has announced Richard Duxbury, Michelle Gesell and David Simms will finish their roles at the end of the month as part of a move which will see the remaining regional MDs take on responsibility for larger regions.

The East and West Midlands regions, for which David and Michelle are responsible respectively, will now be merged with the Avon area of the company’s South-West operation.

The newly created region will be overseen by Sarah Pullen, who is currently MD of TM’s South West region and was last month unveiled as the company’s commercial director.

From left: David Simms, Richard Duxbury and Michelle Gesell

From left: David Simms, Richard Duxbury and Michelle Gesell

Mark Sainsbury, who is currently responsible for Wales, will look after the enhanced South West region incorporating Devon and Cornwall, in addition to Cardiff and Swansea.

Richard’s Central & East patch will be combined with that of South East MD Simon Edgley, who will take overall responsibility for that merged region.

The North West and North Wales region, the Manchester and Huddersfield region and the Newcastle and Teesside region remain unchanged under the leadership of Carl Wood, Paul O’Halloran and Bob Cuffe respectively.

The changes were announced in a memo, which has been seen by HTFP, from recently appointed TM regionals revenue director Mike Pennington.

He said: “Across the regional structures, we propose to widen geographic responsibilities where we believe there are potential synergies, with accountability purely for commercial performance, reporting to myself.

“The business needs to make some radical changes and decisions moving forwards and we need to ensure that we have the right structure in place to deliver this.”

Mike added: “As a consequence of these changes Richard Duxbury, Michelle Gesell, and David Simms will unfortunately be leaving the business at the end of August.

“I would like to thank them all for their significant contribution to the business and wish them every success for the future.”

17 comments

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  • August 17, 2017 at 2:30 pm
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    To be fair to them TM are taking their intensive cost savings and effectiveness reviews very seriously effectively having identified where substantial costs can be saved. This latest announcement will result in significant cost reductions with, let’s be honest here,very likely little impact onto the business and for a change with no direct cuts to the editorial department.

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  • August 17, 2017 at 2:38 pm
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    “….propose to widen geographic responsibilities ……, with accountability purely for commercial performance, reporting to myself”
    So, in a nutshell more work for fewer people with the editors responsible for commercial profitability and less locality for readers as they attempt to cut costs now the business is being run by bean counters.

    He goes on to say;
    “….to ensure that we have the right structure in place to deliver this” bit of a slap in the face to the outgoing three as they clear their desks and handover the car keys in the next couple of weeks
    Ouch

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  • August 17, 2017 at 4:51 pm
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    The MD at the Sentinel has been doing a hatchet job for the last 6 yrs. We have noticed a huge decline in decent staff whilst the MD has made no discernible impact on the area. It appears that that roll has been paid huge amounts but made little impact. Good luck to the Sentinel team, it remains to be seen if the ‘new’ structure works out but at least it gives them a fighting chance now.

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  • August 17, 2017 at 5:23 pm
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    It makes for boring reading really. More people lose jobs “in an effort to focus on commercial and driving revenues” and then revenues continue to decline. Either nobody knows how to drive revenue or the industry must accept its limited future. Stop flowering up the press releases. Is that just 3 MDs left now from local world? With the ex-LW group MD and Commercial director also gone? Glad I got out a year ago and found a job that motivates and inspires.

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  • August 17, 2017 at 9:16 pm
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    Every TM director I ever knew always managed to lose me at ‘synergies’.

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  • August 18, 2017 at 9:20 am
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    A bit like reducing the deckchairs on the Titanic…

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  • August 18, 2017 at 11:07 am
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    why do MDs and the like in communications business talk such tripe?Tell it like it is, in plain English. And HTFP, you translate it please if needed.
    Otherwise it will read like my weekly paper. Stuffed full of unedited press releases.

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  • August 18, 2017 at 11:18 am
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    We are all devastated that Michelle is leaving the business. She has been an incredible leader and supporter of the area. She will be sadly missed and we wish her all the best for the future.

    @StokeBusiness……I’m guessing you’re an ex-employee???

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  • August 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm
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    These three must have presided over hundreds of redundancies between them, so they can’t really complain when someone in the gravy train’s first class decides they’re next.

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  • August 18, 2017 at 5:27 pm
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    Our entire office started cheering when it was announced about our MD! Out of touch, out of their depth. Good riddance!

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  • August 18, 2017 at 6:41 pm
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    StokeTT2 I’m not sure we are talking about the same person …

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  • August 19, 2017 at 12:07 am
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    Not much sympathy when you are letting your managers get away with doing very little. About time things changed. Poor performance is not even considered a factor in declining revenues.

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  • August 21, 2017 at 9:06 am
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    The local newspaper market continues to shrink at an alarming rate, especially the advertising revenues. Can’t be too long before they start closing titles, as many are just not sustainable. They bought Local World whose titles were performing better than TMs regional titles but they have just dragged them down to their level and beyond.
    Loosing Richard Duxbury and Michelle Gesell will be a big loss, as both are very effective leaders.

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  • August 22, 2017 at 10:43 am
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    Hoist by their own petard by the looks of it

    Incredible that an industry that’s changed beyond all recognition still operates with archaic management and top heavy levels of manager and which itself hasn’t changed in line with the modern environment they’re operating in.
    It’s plain for all to see across all publishing groups that the contribution middle managers and those above make to the business is minimal yet incurs excessively high costs just to retain these people, costs which could easily be reduced with little or no adverse effect on the business .
    The sooner more levels of management are flattened out and less underproductive individuals are moved out the better for all concerned, maybe then regional published will have s fighting chance of becoming profitable

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  • August 22, 2017 at 3:57 pm
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    Great idea, when heading for the rocks sack the captain?
    This means all the decisions will be centralised in head office without any local input and that can’t be a good thing , look no further than JP for evidence of how that ends up.Fact is that these newspapers are local businesses and they need to respond and adapt to their local conditions. Invariably this means print in decline but there might be other ways of maintaining employment and brand vitality. My guess is that the local team will spot these opportunities a lot quicker than an accountant in a head office.

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  • August 24, 2017 at 4:56 pm
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    Enjoyed several years working closely with Richard. He was one of the good guys: a breath of fresh air in our business and he did a great job. He’ll be a success wherever he goes next.
    Also enjoyed working with David and Michelle.
    Best of luck to them all

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