Lord Rothermere is to become chairman of Northcliffe Newspapers from 15 May.
The company is the regional newspaper subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust, which Rothermere also chairs.
At Northcliffe Newspapers he succeeds Ian Park, who resigns but will remain a main board director of DMGT.
Park said: “I count myself lucky to have had eight years of continued involvement with Northcliffe after my retirement as managing director in 1995. I will be 68 this May and it is time to stand down as chairman.
“I am delighted the group’s chairman, Lord Rothermere, himself a former managing director of our Tunbridge Wells group of newspapers, is to follow me as chairman of Northcliffe. It means our special corporate culture, particularly in editorial matters, is in safe hands.”
Lord Rothermere said Park had had an illustrious career and had been an inspirational influence to all those in the industry “who have had the honour to know him. Northcliffe Newspapers, in particular, has been incredibly fortunate that Ian has been its chairman, and formerly its managing director, over the past 21 years. We at DMGT are grateful that we will continue to benefit from his extremely valuable input to the board.”