Johnston in consultation over future of senior execs

Three senior Johnston Press executives are in consultation over their future with the company including the last member of the Johnston family involved with the newspaper group.

Michael Johnston, divisional managing director for Scotland and North-East, is in talks alongside David Caskie, divisional finance director for Scotland and North-East and Richard Bell, managing director of Johnston Falkirk, according to one of the group’s its biggest titles, The Scotsman.

The news comes after the recent arrival of new chief executive Ashley Highfield from Microsoft, where he was vice-president for its UK consumer and online business.

In a statement Highfield said: ‘We can confirm that we are in consultation with senior executives at The Scotsman Publications and Johnston Falkirk and we are unable to make any further comment at the present time.”

Johnston was founded in 1767 and runs more than 270 local newspapers including Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News.

In November the company announced it had entered into talks to refinance its £357m debt. Figures show its advertising revenue fell 8 per cent in the 18 weeks to 5 November, an improvement on the 10 per cent drop seen in the first half of the year.

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