Trinity Mirror has announced the merger of its regional and national operations in a move that sees the departure of regional chief Georgina Harvey.
The company said the merger was an attempt to “create a more efficient model from which to develop our longer term strategic direction as ‘One Trinity Mirror’.
The head of its nationals division, Mark Hollinshead, has been appointed to the newly-created position of chief operating officer and has been made an executive director of Trinity.
In an announcement the company said: “The nationals and regionals divisions will be unified under one management structure thereby ensuring that editorial, advertising and support functions can operate as effectively as possible across all of the group's print and digital publishing operations. This will enable an accelerated rollout of digital products across our portfolio to drive revenues.”
Today's announcement is the first major decision by new chief executive Simon Fox since his arrival at the end of August.
Under the new structure, digital product development and the specialist digital businesses (including recruitment, property and digital marketing services), along with Trinity’s contract printing operations, will now be separately managed and report directly to Fox.
It also sees the departure of director of corporate communications Nick Fullagar.
Trinity said that Harvey and Fullagar had “both made an important and valued contribution to the group for which the board is enormously grateful”.
The company has also announced that Happli, the daily deals business launched seven months ago, is being closed.
“It is considered that the business is unlikely to reach sufficient scale to become profitable in the near term,” the company said in a statement.
“We will now enter into a period of consultation with staff working in the business.”
It has very quickly been confirmed to me that Trinity Mirror is a business with great brands, passionate and dedicated people and significant unrealised potential. What has become clear in my first few weeks is that realising this potential requires a flatter and more efficient management structure that connects strategic decision making more closely with the journalistic heart of the business.
I believe the changes we are making today will create One Trinity Mirror with a unique portfolio of national and regional brands and the best structure from which to develop our longer term strategic direction. I will provide a strategic update in early 2013.
UPDATE, 3.50pm, 15/10/2012
Trinity has also confirmed that Sara Wilde, the managing director, commercial, for the company’s regional operation has also left the company. Wilde is the former managing director of Trinity Mirror North West.