A newspaper boss who has twice bounced back from redundancy has been axed for the third time in as many years, this time by Johnston Press.
Then in September 2010 he was named as the new boss of Johnston Press’s Northern division – but is now set to lose this job too.
The move comes as part of a major cull of senior managers within the regional publisher, with the five regional divisional managing director posts all due to disappear.
Earlier this week we reported that Scottish divisional managing director Michael Johnston – the last member of the company’s founding family still working there – was in consultation over his future.
Johnston Press confirmed in a statement that it was removing the divisional MD tier of management but said that three of the five individuals affected would be remaining with the company in other roles.
The two who are now in consultation are Mr Johnston and Mr Brown, with Nick Mills (Midlands), Gary Fearon (South) and Jean Long (Northern Ireland) all moved to other duties.
In a statement, the company said the changes were designed to “to create a flat and efficient structure to give the group the desired level of agility in the rapidly changing media landscape.”
“It comprises removing one complete layer of management to give more direct reporting from the operating companies.
“The five divisional managing director positions for the publishing division will cease to exist going forward with three of the individuals staying with the group in other roles and with the remaining two now being in consultation.
“The divisional finance director positions for the publishing division will also be removed as part of the reorganisation and these individuals are also in consultation.”
Commenting on the changes chief executive Ashley Highfield said: “As a group we need to be able to act quickly and efficiently to maximise growth opportunities in the ever more rapidly changing media sector.
“While it is always sad to see loyal team members depart, we have to do the right thing to ensure the group maintains and builds upon its strong competitive position within the local communities we serve.”