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Regional dailies’ first female MD leaves company

Helen OldhamA senior newspaper executive who became the first female managing director of two flagship Johnston Press dailies has left the company.

Helen Oldham, left, was MD of both The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post before becoming JP’s group publishing director in January 2016.

It is understood that she reached a mutual agreement with JP last year that 2017 would be her last year with the company, and that she now plans to “see more of the great outdoors.”

Helen spent 31 years in the regional press industry and first joined JP in a senior capacity as MD for Burnley-based East Lancashire Newspapers in January 2004.

The following year she moved to Leeds, initially as managing director for JP’s Yorkshire weeklies but eventually as MD for the whole division.

Her role was then extended in a 2014 restructure which saw her take on additional responsibility for JP’s Scottish flagship brands – The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and Edinburgh Evening News.

In a farewell message to staff, which has been seen by HTFP, she wrote: “I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the world and love the great outdoors. Now is the time to see more of it and feel the sun on my face.

“I’ve had many great moments at Johnston Press, the most memorable being my appointment as the first female managing director of the Yorkshire Post and Scotsman.”

JP declined to comment on Helen’s departure when approached by HTFP.


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  • March 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    “It is understood that she reached a mutual agreement with JP last year that 2017 would be her last year with the company”
    I wonder chums, how much is a mutual agreement nowadays?

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  • March 8, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Is this simply s story because this md is a woman?
    If not it’s just a story about another long serving staff member leaving a publisher

    Perhaps the real story is the agreed by mutual agreement angle

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  • March 8, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    More to this story than meets the eye one suspects. A blow when someone experienced in newspapers and liked by staff leaves. Will no doubt be replaced by someone from the BBC.

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  • March 9, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Lots more to that story… read the investor press…

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  • March 9, 2017 at 9:49 am

    She probably stood up for her staff and had the audacity to tell the suits what she thought of the guff they were churning out. Newsroom of the Future was probably the last straw. I wish her all the best. As for seeing the great outdoors, the ‘deep litter’ journalism of JP Is anathema to getting out and breathing God’s fresh air!

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  • March 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Whatever Helen’s reason for leaving, it’s very sour of JP to decline to comment on her departure. It must have been a really difficult job with a lot of responsibility and long hours and the least head office could offer would be thanks and best wishes for the future.

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