Mr Bowdler, who is retiring from his job with Johnston Press this month, will assume the new part-time role with the PA Group later in January.
Chief executive Paul Potts, who earlier this week was appointed CBE in the New Year Honours list, has been covering the role since Sir Harry Roche retired in May last year.
A company statement said the Board believed appointing a non-executive chairman would allow the executive team to concentrate on the future growth and development of the business.
Mr Potts said: “We recognise that the coming year will be a crucial period for the media industry and Tim’s appointment will allow me, along with the executive team, to concentrate on the challenges and opportunities ahead.
“2009 will be another significant year for the Press Association as we continue to drive forward our digital strategy and do all we can to support our customers.
“We are fortunate that someone with Tim’s wide experience and respect within the media industry is available to give us the benefit of his time and counsel at this important time.”
Tim Bowdler was appointed chief executive of Johnston Press in 1997 having joined the company in 1994 as group managing director.
He is also chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance and a past president of the Newspaper Society while being on the PA Group’s board since 2001.
Mr Bowdler said: “I am honoured to become chairman of PA Group.
“It is a great business with a first class management team. I look forward to working with them and the board in my new role.”
Dave (02/01/2009 15:15:13)
Should that read: WAS a first class management team.
regionalhack (02/01/2009 20:05:14)
Watch out PA.If they don’t already have massive debts, with Bowdler on board, they might soon have. . .like the ones he has burdened Johnston Press with.
Dave Ross (03/01/2009 06:44:46)
How appropriate – and cosy! HTFP reported on 16 December that Johnston Press had hosted a meeting at its Edinburgh HQ where PA was one of three firms bidding to sub two major JP titles.
Glad to be out! (04/01/2009 09:56:11)
In an interview with The Times Bowdler says – “Newspapers need to become local portals with new revenue streams.” The archives will show that he and his peers have been have known this for over a decade but their fear of cannibalising traditional ‘ink on paper’ revenues and the sweet taste of the cash cows milk has ultimately failed employees, readers, advertisers and shareholders alike. Unlike its regional newspaper customers the PA repositioned itself. This appointment beggars belief.
TMH (04/01/2009 11:05:26)
Having been one of the many JP employees who had to sit through that dismal apology DVD produced by Bowdler and liste to him bemoaing share values while teling the footsoldiers there would be no pay rise, I can only say how dare the industry, in any guise, sanction this appointment.
While Bowdler sits back rubbing his hands together at falling on his feet, perhaps this new year he can spare a thought for all the families who are going to be struggling to pay a mortgage this year because of redundancies – the price of JPs financial mismanagement headed up by Bowdler.
Borderline defamatory statment? I can think of several hundred editorial staff who would call it fair comment.
JP Man (04/01/2009 14:41:33)
Having watched Mr Bowdler’s emotionally-charged leaving video outlining his sadness to jump a sinking ship may I say how pleased I am for him to be back in another a role. It’s just a pity those being redundant don’t have the same luxury.
Lady Diana (04/01/2009 16:26:53)
What was the media bleating about both here and in the USA when the banks crisis unfolded? Top suits rewarded for failure.
Sorry if it hurts but the buck must stop with the Chairman for JPs crisis. Buying cheap ‘past their sell-by date’ rags from the Midlands to Bally-bleedin-bunion just hasn’t worked and we mere drones are now paying the price.
F. Johnston (05/01/2009 10:29:02)
I once heard Bowdler tell a meeting of senior managers that Johnston Press ‘was not, and probably never will be, an innovative company but probably follows where others lead.’ With that kind of dynamic forward-thinking at the top how can PA fail? Why the man has any credibility left is a mystery.
smartalex (05/01/2009 11:09:44)
Bowdler once paid a regal-type visit to the office of the newspaper where i was a cub reporter, barely bothering to greet or talk to any of the journos. In fact i was referred to by him not by name, but merely ‘a reporter’. Says it all really! Still the shoe vouchers we received the next xmas from Johnstons as a present more than made up for it(!)
TMH (05/01/2009 12:46:25)
Shoe vouchers??? You were lucky 😉
Ken (07/01/2009 09:53:14)
It’s to be hoped he doesn’t have the same effect as he did with JP