Evening Standard and Independent publisher reveals ambition to become 'industry-leading events business'

The publisher of the Evening Standard and Independent titles has hired a new managing director for its expanding events arm as it sets out to become an “industry-leading events business”.

ESI Media today announced the appointment of Leigh Fergus as managing director of ESI Live, which produces the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and British Film Awards as well as the publisher’s other event offerings.

The appointment comes ahead of the launch of the Standard’s London Food Month in June.

News publishers are increasingly investing in events as a source of  income amid declining revenue from advertising and falling newsstand sales.

Jon O’Donnell, managing director of ESI Commercial, said: “Events have become a hugely important part of our business and we are committed to increasing the scale and scope of ESI Live.

“ESI Media has an ambition to be an industry leading events business delivering engaging and inspiring commercially successful events to a diverse audience.

“Leigh brings with her a wealth of experience in this space and a proven track record of establishing and developing commercially successful events.”

Fergus, who joins from the Telegraph and has worked in commercial events for 19 years, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the ESI Media team at this pivotal point and look forward to developing and scaling this fast-growing area of the business.

“We are already well respected and established in the events space; our next stage in launching consumer led events, starting with London Food Month, allows us to expand the opportunity to create memorable live content experiences for brands and their audiences.”

Press Gazette also understands The Independent is looking to create events based around its Indy Voices comment brand.

Picture: Reuters/Neil Hall 

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