Johnston Press promotion for Scotsman’s Richardson

THE managing director at The Scotsman has been promoted in a managerial shake-up at publishers, Johnston Press, which earlier this week saw three senior executives in Scotland enter consultation talks about their futures with the company.

Andrew Richardson has been made managing director of a ‘publishing unit’ comprising most of the publisher’s Scottish titles. He is currently managing director of The Scotsman Publications Ltd, which also includes Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News.

Earlier this week, allmediascotland.com reported that Michael Johnston – divisional managing director for Scotland and the North-east of England – had entered talks about his future, along with David Caskie, divisional finance director for Scotland and North-east and Richard Bell, managing director of Johnston Falkirk.

Announcing the shake-up, chief executive, Ashley Highfield, explained in a memo to staff: “In order for the company to grow in the ever more highly competitive media landscape in which we operate, and not merely to survive, we need to be as agile an organisation as possible. We need to be able to react quickly, and to communicate up and down the organisation easily and accurately.

“To this end, we’ve decided to create a flatter, more efficient organisation structure, with fewer layers between group (the central senior management of Johnston Press) and the subsidiary companies in the field. We will therefore be removing the publishing divisions from the organisation structure, and further rationalising subsidiary companies into 11 publishing units, each with its own managing director reporting directly to the chief operating officer.”

The UK-wide initiative affects Scotland in the following ways:

“Michael Johnston and Steve Brown are on leave and in consultation with the company. Further announcements will be made in due course”, as part of making the role of divisional managing director redundant.

“David Caskie, Kathryn Armitage, Barrai McConville, Craig Fisher and Vince Lisle are on leave and in consultation with the company”, as part of making the role of divisional finance director redundant.

Under the heading, ‘changes within operating companies as they become publishing units’, Richardson will be managing director of the publishing unit described as Scotland (The Scotsman Publications Ltd, Johnston (Falkirk) Ltd, Angus County Press, East Lothian News and the Midlothian Advertiser).

“Angus Morrison will report to Andrew Richardson and continue to be responsible for the Angus County Press titles, [while] Richard Bell is on leave and is in consultation with the company. A further announcement will be made in due course. Staff who previously reported to Richard Bell will now report to Andrew Richardson.”

Meanwhile, Stuart Birkett will be managing director of the publishing unit described as Northeast (Northeast Press, Tweeddale Press (excluding East Lothian News and the Midlothian Advertiser). “Tweeddale managers/editors who previously reported to TSPL directors will now report direct to Stuart Birkett.”

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