But while other panellists spoke mainly about cutting-edge digital projects, including robot journalism, Toby, left, appeared to defy the conventional wisdom.
“Our big innovation is print. We are launching new papers and we believe print has a big future,” he told the gathering in Cambridge.
New print titles to have been launched by Newsquest so far this year include the Oldham Times and the Warrington Post.
He also claimed that Newsquest has protected frontline reporting roles from job cuts although he conceded that “talented” sub-editors had been lost.
“A lot of our newsrooms had 30pc reporters and 70pc other roles…we knew we needed to reverse that,” he said.
“Now we have a process whereby reporters are writing directly onto shapes. We have lost talented sub-editors but it’s meant we have been able to invest in content.”
“Our aim through innovation is to have the most efficient newsrooms in the business.
“If we can get a sustainable business model in our titles, in a few years time we could be a growth industry again.”
Pete insisted that the project would be “hugely additive” rather than a way of replacing journalists with robots.
“Our aim is to create a profitable standalone digital business,” he said.