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Media website lists region's movers and shakers

The chief executive of the Carlisle-based CN Group is the most powerful newspaper publishing figure in the North West, according to a new poll.

Robin Burgess comes sixth in the third annual Media 100 run by North West website

After being placed 13th in the 2008 list, Mr Burgess leapfrogs GMG Regional Media boss Mark Dodson who remains in 10th place.

The CN Group has not been immune to redundancies but continues to champion community news and this year launched hyperlocal websites whereby contributors took a share in ad revenues.

Other names appearing in the list include Liverpool Echo editor Alastair Machray (12th) who, according to the How-Do judges at any rate, outranks his own Trinity Mirror North West and Wales MD Sara Wilde (14th).

Absentees from among last year’s notables include former Manchester Evening News editor Paul Horrocks, who left his job after 12 years last month, and Archant Life’s former northern regional MD Liz Page, now running the National Trust’s properties in York.

Top spot overall went to Peter Salmon, the £350,000-a-year director of BBC North who was described by the judging panel as a “shoo-in.”

Judging criteria included seniority, influence, number of staff employed and impact on the region.

The Media 100 comprises a top 30 together with 70 unranked entries. Here are some of the key newspaper figures listed.

  • 6. Robin Burgess, chief executive of the CN Group. Oversees a portfolio of weeklies and two dailies, the News and Star and North West Evening Mail, as well as three radio stations and magazines.
  • 10. Mark Dodson, chief executive of Guardian Media Group Regional Media. Has enjoyed a turbulent year with large-scale job losses at subsidiary MEN Media and the closure of all satellite weekly offices in Greater Manchester.
  • 12. Alastair Machray, editor of the Liverpool Echo. The year saw printing leave the city and switch to Oldham. It marked the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster with a moving picture tribute.
  • 14. Sara Wilde, MD of Trinity Mirror North West and Wales. The company’s South Wales titles have been added to her remit this year and some titles have been axed with subsequent redundancies.
  • 21. Chris Hughes, MD of Newsquest North West. In addition to the departure of three of his regional MDs, Chris has also had to close a number of titles, local offices, lose staff and a £17m print centre.
  • 28. Simon Reynolds, editor of the Lancashire Evening Post. Acknowledged as one of the most enthusiastic regional editors on matters of convergence with the LEP’s focus split equally across print, broadcasting and digital news.
  • And the best of the rest in no particular order:

  • Mark Thomas, editor of the Liverpool Daily Post. Paid-for sales this year slipped to under 15,000 copies, but the title has seen more investment in business, sport, magazines and special publications.
  • Kevin Young, editor of the Lancashire Telegraph. Now oversees various titles in the group’s portfolio including the Citizen series in Blackburn/Chorley and monthly title Asian Image. Also oversaw the relaunch of the Westmorland Gazette.
  • Nick Turner, head of digital content development with the CN Group. Has joined the board of the Society of Editors since last year’s entry and launched an hyperlocal online initiative offering contributors a share of ad revenues.
  • Neil Benson, editorial director of Trinity Mirror Regionals. Based in Chester, he oversees editorial matters on Trinity Mirror’s local titles across the UK. Now working closely with the Press Association on regional news pilots.
  • Ian Savage, editor of The Bolton News. Editor since January 2008, oversaw the merger of the Bury Times editorial team into the Bolton offices and then was faced with his sub-editors being moved to Blackburn.
  • Jonathan Lee, editor of the North West Evening Mail, based in Barrow. The paper’s strong community engagement has cushioned the circulation decline and is thought to achieve almost 50pc household penetration in Barrow.
  • Roger Borrell, editorial director of Archant North West. As well as Lancashire Life, his portfolio now includes overseeing Cheshire Life and other niche titles Archant runs out of its Preston regional HQ.
  • Steve Brauner, editor of Crain’s Manchester Business. Almost two years since the title’s launch, opinion remains divided about Crain’s impact. Distribution has been extended to include Merseyside and the rate card has been cut again.
  • Ruth Spratt, MD of MEN Media. A baptism of fire since taking the post in January, particularly the shutting of offices outside Manchester. As well as the MEN, TV station Channel M also comes under her control.
  • Neil Hodgkinson, editorial director of Cumbrian Newspapers. Day-to-day he edits the daily News and Star in Carlisle but also oversees company’s editorial interests across the region.
  • Rob Irvine, editor of Daily Post in North Wales. The Daily Post benefits from its perceived national standing and is not generally a secondary purchase with sales remaining healthy at circa 34,000.
  • Comments

    Ben Green (27/11/2009 10:18:27)
    Another excellent feature from a website that seems to have cracked how to deliver relevant media news in a regional context. Love the fact that it pulls together broadcasters, publishers, media owners, agency heads, digital bods and marketers into a list that shows the level of interaction that exists across all these inter-related areas.

    Mr Deviant (27/11/2009 15:02:20)
    I’d love to see Mr Dodson being leapfrogged

    DanDepan (30/11/2009 09:53:25)
    “Mark Dodson, chief executive mof Guardian Media Group Regional Media. Has enjoyed a turbulent year with large-scale job losses at subsidiary MEN Media and the closure of all satellite weekly offices in Greater Manchester” …. but nevertheless managed to enjoy a huge hike in his own basic wage along with a massive bonus – a true British boss!!!