Big push toward online charging? Johnston Press appoints e-commerce expert as non-executive director

Is it an indication that Johnston Press is committing itself to charging for online content? Yesterday, the publisher of more than 300 newspapers, including the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Evening Post, announced that Geoff Iddison will become a non-executive director in the New Year.

Iddison’s background reads like a Who’s Who of successful commercial online operations: Former chief executive of online games developer and publisher Jagex, time spent at eBay, then a move to European chief executive of online payment platform, PayPal.

His current role is global head of e-commerce and m-commerce for Mastercard.

Johnston Press last month erected paywalls on six of its weekly newspaper websites as part of a small trial to assess market impact of charging for online content – presumably with the view to spread the system across other newspaper websites in the group if it proves to be successful.

Iddison will replace Martina King, who having served as a non-executive director for six years, decided not to seek re-election at the company’s AGM next April.

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