A key figure at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspapers is being tipped to take over at a major European newspaper publishing house.
Mark Hollinshead is currently director of the nationals division of Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Record and Mail, and – says yesterday's Sunday Times Scotland – he has emerged as a leading candidate to replace David Montgomery at the helm of Mecom, the European newspaper publisher.
According to the Sunday Times Scotland, Hollinshead is on a shortlist prepared by headhunter, Russell Reynolds, which is running a search for a new Mecom boss.
Says the newspaper: “Assembled through a string of acquisitions in the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark and Norway, Mecom owns 300 newspapers and 200 websites but has been a serial underperformer, and resorted to a £140 million rights issue last year to cut its debts.”
Were he to be appointed, he'd succeed a former Trinity Mirror head, David Montgomery, who is reported to have announced last week a ‘planned retirement‘ from Mecom “after a sustained campaign by shareholders to remove him”.
The Sunday Times Scotland continues: “Hollinshead is a key lieutenant to Sly Bailey, Trinity’s chief executive. For the past two years he has run the nationals arm. Insiders say the main hurdle that could prevent Hollinshead landing the role is his lack of business experience in the Netherlands, which forms the core of Mecom.”
But media pundit, Roy Greenslade, has today greeted the story with furious derision, describing Hollinshead in his blog for The Guardian as an “axeman”.
Update: The Drum media and marketing magazine quotes a Trinity Mirror spokesperson saying there was “nothing in the story” and that any chance of Hollinshead moving to Mecom was “just speculation”.