Cumbria Newspapers digital strategy manager Nick Turner made redundant after 25 years with group

Former Society of Editors President Nick Turner has left his role as digital strategy manager at regional publisher CN Group following a restructure.

The group, which publishes the daily News & Star newspaper, is appointing a group-wide digital commercial director to oversee its digital arm, making Turner’s role redundant as a result – although no further redundancies are expected.

Turner, who has worked at CN Group for 25 years and held the SoE presidency last year, said he was “very sad to be leaving”, but added he was “seeing this as a positive opportunity to take a fresh look at my career”.

He told Press Gazette: “Looking back, I have had an opportunity with CN Group to do lots of digital innovations. It’s been a great company to work for that has been prepared to experiment digitally.

“I think we were the first digital paper to bring in blogs and recently we have branched out into areas like digital marketing and sponsored content.”

Turner, who joined the group as a reporter and later worked as deputy editor on the News & Star, said his eight years as digital strategy manager for CN Group largely involved “trying to work out what digital opportunities there are for regional publishers”.

“It’s been a very interesting time to work on that,” he said.

“Recently that’s been working with advertisers who increasingly want to know from a publisher what digital opportunities there are to promote themselves.”

He added he was “pretty upbeat” about what the UK news media industry has achieved in digital.

He said: “No-one has really hit on the magic formula to get digital revenues, but there’s so much to be proud of with the UK media industry – what’s been achieved by titles in migrating on to new platforms and bringing with them massive audiences for journalists.”

Turner’s departure was announced in a message to staff by group development director Jonathan Lee on Friday.

Lee said: “We will be appointing a senior group-wide digital director to lead one CN Digital operation and ensure we maximise the opportunities for our business.

“Our existing digital teams, who have been reporting to Stuart Cooke and Nick Turner, are forming one CN Digital team. Unfortunately Nick Turner’s role as digital strategy manager has been made redundant and Nick has left the business.

“The digital team who reported to Nick will report to Stuart until we announce the appointment of a group digital commercial director.

“I would like to put on record my thanks to Nick for the work he has done for CN Group over many years.  I am sure you would like to join me in wishing Nick all the best with his future career.”

Turner will continue to be a member of the SoE board.

Former Archant boss Miller Hogg was due to take over from Robin Burgess as chief executive of CN Group this month.

The publisher launched paid-for daily 24 The North’s National, which drew on PA copy with a focus on northern news, in June but was forced to close it six weeks later.

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