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Local newspaper group keeps it in the family

A local newspaper group has strengthened its family links by appointing a great-great grandson of the company’s founder as deputy chairman.

Jason Baylis, above right, is a fifth generation descendant of William Fredrick Baylis, inset, who helped establish the Maidenhead Advertiser and became its editor and proprietor nearly 141 years ago.

The 34-year-old, currently production and IT director of the Berkshire-based firm, is being groomed to become its chairman in future years.

The company is owned by the Louis Baylis Charitable Trust, established in 1962 by the then proprietor Louis Baylis, who decreed that the chairman should if possible bear the family name.

When Jason’s father, Gerald, retired as chairman earlier than expected in 2004 another Baylis family member, managing director Jeremy Spooner, took on the additional role of chairman in a caretaker capacity.

However Jeremy has signalled his intention to step down from the chairman’s role as soon as Jason is ready to take the helm.

He said: “My assuming the dual role was always going to be a short-term measure and I am delighted Jason has been appointed deputy chairman.

“He will now undergo a development programme to familiarise him with all aspects of our business with a view to him taking on the full role of chairman in accordance with the wishes of Louis Baylis.

Baylis Media is a forward-looking company that has grown significantly in recent years but we retain the caring ethos of a family firm and having a Baylis at the head of the business is an important link to the heritage that has shaped the company over the last 14 decades.”

As well as the three-edition Maidenhead Advertiser series, the company also publishes the Slough and Windsor Express series and numerous niche publications.