Two senior Johnston Press executives have today left the company in a shake-up which sees four subsidiaries combined into a single business unit.
Mark Rodgers, managing director of Sheffield Newspapers which publishes The Star, left his role this morning with immediate effect.
Both subsidiaries are being brought together into a single business unit along with Wilfred Edmunds Ltd, publisher of the Derbyshire Times, and North Notts Newspapers, publishers of the Mansfield Chad.
John Bills, previously group projects director for JP, moves to the role of managing director of Sheffield Newspapers and South Yorkshire Newspapers and will head the new combined unit.
Dawn Sweeney, MD of Wilfred Edmunds and North Notts Newspapers keeps her role, but will report to Mr Bills.
Chief operating officer Danny Cammiade said in a statement: “Following a review of the newspaper companies in South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire, it is proposed to form one operating unit comprising Wilfred Edmunds Ltd, North Notts Newspapers Ltd, South Yorkshire Newspapers Ltd and Sheffield Newspapers Ltd.
“As a result, John Bills is appointed managing director of South Yorkshire Newspapers Ltd in addition to his responsibilities as managing director of Sheffield Newspapers Ltd.
“Dawn Sweeney, managing director of Wilfred Edmunds Ltd and North Notts Newspapers Ltd, will report direct to John Bills. John Bills will report to Nick Mills, divisional managing director Midlands.”
In earlier statements Mr Cammiade announced that both Mr Rodgers and Mr Bentham had relinquished their positions with immediate effect.
Mr Bentham had been in the news earlier this year after a leaked memo to editors and senior journalists, setting out new guidelines following the introduction of the Atex content management system.
The memo included the line: “[Editors] should not continue with the old practise of reading every story. Editors should evaluate the risk for each story based on content and the seniority of the journalist and act accordingly.”
The PCC later announced it would be taking no action over the complaint.
Mr Bills joined Johnston Press as acting MD of Premier Newspapers in Milton Keynes in 2008 before taking on the group projects role at the company’s head office in Edinburgh later that year.
He was regional managing director of Trinity Mirror Midlands until october 2007, but left that job after leading an unsuccessful management buyout bid for the Birmingham Post and Mail and Coventry Telegraph.