KMG chief steps into her father's shoes

By Sarah Lagan

Edwin
Boorman is stepping down as chairman of Kent Messenger Group after
running the family company for 41 years. He will be succeeded by his
daughter, Geraldine Allinson.

After 19 years as chairman of KMG, 70-year-old Boorman will become
the second president of the company. His father, Henry Rory Pratt
Boorman, was the first president.

Edwin Boorman was previously managing director of KMG and is a former president of the Newspaper Society.

He
said his departure coincided with an important era for the company, as
it is on the verge of reinventing itself: “I want this company to be
the authority that people turn to for whatever they want to know about
Kent. We should be the ‘Google’ for Kent, which directs people to the
right place for the answer.”

Boorman joined his father, known as
the “Guv’nor”, at the age of 24 and five years later took over as the
group’s managing director.

He said one of his best decisions was
buying Press Association shares for £2,500, which later turned into a
£5m investment, helping the group to survive a financial crisis.

Allinson,
39, will be one of the youngest chairmen in the regional newspaper
industry. She joined the board of KMG after three years as assistant to
chief executive David Lewis and a year as general manager and associate
director.

She said: “Our challenge is embracing technology and
being flexible with it. We are trying very hard to move from being a
local newspaper company into being a multi-media company. We are
developing our websites and have invested in radio stations.”

Boorman will remain with the group for at least five years.

Allinson
is the fourth generation of the family to head the company since her
great-grandfather Barham Pratt Boorman founded the group in 1890.

Its origins go back to the launch of the Maidstone Telegraph in 1859.

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