He will take on the role in July at the same time that Mike Darcey, the CEO of News UK, becomes chairman of the organisation, which represents the national and regional newspaper industry.
Mike, who became chief executive of News UK in January 2013 following 15 years with BSkyB, was elected as chairman at the NMA’s first annual general meeting last Friday.
The NMA was formed last July with a merger of the Newspaper Society, which previously represented regional titles and the Newspaper Publishers Association, hitherto the voice of the national press.
Mike will take over the role from Adrian Jeakings, the former chief executive of Archant, who is the NMA’s inaugural chairman and before that was president of the NS from 2012-14.
Said Adrian: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to lead the NMA and the Newspaper Society before that. I am delighted to be leaving the organisation in such capable hands and wish Mike Darcey every success during his term as chairman.”
Added Mike: “These are fascinating times for newspapers with significant challenges and opportunities. It is vital that we speak with a united voice, to safeguard our freedom from politicians and the police, and damaging data protection demands.
“I will try to ensure that voice is heard, and champion the enduring critical role of the press in a mature democracy, and the huge value we provide to our engaged audiences and business partners who want to reach them.”
Ashley said: “Newsbrands are experiencing a renewed surge in confidence as their digital audiences and revenues continue to grow, and the power of print as a highly effective editorial and advertising medium is more widely acknowledged.
“The NMA has a critical role to play in highlighting the strength and adaptability of of newsbrands – in print and digital – as communications medium.”