Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has appointed a Facebook director as a new board member.
Steve Hatch, the regional director of Facebook UK & Ireland, has joined Trinity Mirror’s board as a non-executive director who will serve on its audit, remuneration and nomination committees.
Before joining Facebook in 2014, Steve served as CEO of WPP-owned media agency MEC.
Trinity Mirror chairman David Grigson said: “I’m delighted to have someone of Steve’s calibre join us on the board.
“Alongside his work at Facebook, his career at some of the biggest media agencies in the UK means he knows the advertising and media industry inside out. This insight and experience is hugely relevant to our business and the ongoing expansion into digital.”
Steve added: “It is with great pride and excitement that I take on this role with one of the UK’s most well respected media organisations and look forward to working with Simon Fox, David Grigson and my fellow board members in the future.”
The News Media Association has welcomed government plans to offer business rate relief to local newspapers in its response to a consultation on the issue.
In his last pre-election Budget in March, George Osborne promised to consult on business rate relief for the local press industry to help it adapt to the digital age.
The NMA submission said: “Local newspapers perform a vital democratic role, covering local issues, scrutinising local public bodies and holding the powerful to account. They serve bigger and more engaged audiences than ever before and remain the most trusted source of information.
“Local media organisations face challenges on various fronts: a competitive BBC, competing local council ‘newspapers’, the threat of the removal of public notices, reduced government advertising spend, reduced print advertising revenues and the ongoing transition to multiplatform publishing.”
It added: “The NMA believes that business rates relief should apply to all properties which are involved in the production of local newspapers, irrespective of the type of property occupied or the size of publisher. Some of our members still have properties in town centres and it is important that they continue, where possible, to have a presence on the high street so they remain central to the communities they serve.”
The consultation period closed this week.
A regional daily editor was grilled by readers when he took his ‘Big Red Sofa’ to the streets.
Southern Daily Echo editor-in-chief Ian Murray, pictured below right, took his sofa to the Hedge End shopping centre in Southampton to meet local people.
He chatted to readers about the local area, news and sports coverage in the paper and current affairs.
Said Ian: “As always there were some lively comments from our readers.
“It is always heartening to realise quite what an important part the Echo plays in the lives of so many local people.”
The evening reception will take place on 3 November at the national newspaper’s headquarters as the milestone for the fund is marked.
Guests at the event will include past and present bursary recipients, their tutors, media professionals, and sponsors of the fund.
The Daily Mail has been a long-term supporter of the fund and was among the founding sponsors in 2005.
The Journalism Diversity Fund supports individuals from diverse backgrounds who do not have the financial means to attend an NCTJ-accredited journalism course, by providing them with grants.
Dan’s appointment comes after Alan Palin he is leaving MNA after more than 30 years there to work for Kodak in Jersey.
Dan has been with the company for 22 years and previously held the role of ad creation manager for the MNA.
He said: “We already produce high quality newspapers but our commitment to improve the titles will give our readers and advertising clients the best possible products.
“Taking responsibility for the production of the UK’s largest regional newspaper Express & Star, its sister title Shropshire Star and more than a dozen successful weekly paid for and free titles will be no mean feat.”