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Fry takes up the reins at Johnston Press

John Fry has spent his first day in the office as the new chief executive of regional publisher Johnston Press after taking up the role yesterday.

Formerly chief executive of Norwich-based regional media group Archant, the 51-year-old was originally appointed to the JP role back in September last year.

John takes over at a critical time for the company with JP’s share price recently dipping below 10p.

He replaces Tim Bowdler, who has now stood down as chief executive although he is being retained by JP for a period in order to assist in “a smooth transfer of responsibilities.” As reported on Friday, Tim is to become the non-executive chairman of the Press Association.

In a statement yesterday, the company praised its outgoing boss’s contribution both to JP and to the wider industry.

“Tim Bowdler joined Johnston Press in January 1994 and since then has overseen a substantial expansion of the company which has become the second largest regional newspaper publisher in the UK and the largest publisher of weekly newspapers in the Republic of Ireland,” it said.

“Under his leadership Johnston Press has achieved sustained industry leading performance. The board of Johnston Press thanks Tim for the major contribution he has made to the company and also to the wider regional newspaper publishing industry.

“They wish him well for the future.”


Peter Lazenby (06/01/2009 11:53:04)
Perhaps Tim Bowdler, refreshed from his stay at his holiday home in Sweden, will spare a thought for Johnston Press employees left facing a wage freeze (which will affect future pensions) and job losses thanks to his management of the firm.

F. Johnston (06/01/2009 14:25:23)
“Under his leadership Johnston Press has achieved sustained industry leading performance.”
Yeah, right.
Spavined papers, useless websites, cringing editors,an over-inflated balloon of debt and a lot of whining about external conditions. The only place JP is leading is down the plughole . . .
Goodbye and good riddance, Mr Bowdler. Good luck PA.

Regionalhack (06/01/2009 21:52:50)
While Bowdler’s ‘spend spend spend’ management has left behind an massively heavy burden on JP, one can’t help wondering what approach John Fry will take?
Could it be that relatively few JP journo’s have lost their jobs because Bowdler felt some responsibility to limit the damage caused by the massive debt he ran up?
Only time will prove if JP journalists and other staff may yet be out of the pan and into the Fryer…