Trinity Mirror has set up a new subsidiary for its Sunday newspapers including a number of regional titles, after appointing two new executives.
The new arm of the company will be called Sunday Brands Ltd and will include the Sunday Mail in Scotland, Wales on Sunday, the Sunday Mercury in Birmingham and the Sunday Sun in Newcastle, along with the Sunday People.
It will be headed by former Sunday Express editor Sue Douglas who will become the publishing director of the new subsidiary, weeks after her plans to take charge of the Sunday People were rejected by the publisher.
She will be joined by former ITV commercial chief Rupert Howell, who was also involved in the bid, who will become chairman of Sunday Brands – which aims to grow and develop Trinity Mirror’s Sunday titles.
Chief executive Simon Fox said: “We have got to know Sue and Rupert well over the last few months and are really delighted that they have agreed to join us. Ours is a talent and content business, so to attract talent of this calibre is a real coup.”
Sue said: “I’ve spent the last two years pursuing a dream to revitalise this part of the media market, so I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to lead the re-vamp of the Sunday People under James Scott’s editorship, as well as develop the other Sunday titles.
“This is a chance to put energy, fun and great journalism into what will become a seven-day digital, one-day print operation.”
In addition to becoming chairman, Rupert is appointed to the role of group transformation director, reporting to the chief executive, where he will work in implementing and accelerating the company’s strategic transformation plan.
Said Rupert: “I’m delighted to have this opportunity to continue working with Sue, and to work with Simon and Mark Hollinshead (COO) to drive Trinity Mirror forward.
“The Group faces a number of challenges in common with the rest of the sector, but is blessed with a fantastic stable of titles across the UK and the determination to pursue its clear strategy to transform its fortunes and build a dynamic and growing media business.”
Sue’s firm, Phoenix Ventures, began talks last year about taking a stake in the Sunday People but Trinity Mirror called an end to the sale discussions last month.