Sue Douglas, the former editor of the Sunday Express, has taken charge of a new Trinity Mirror subsidiary which will include the Sunday People less than a month after she failed in a takeover bid for the title.
The new Sunday Brands offshoot, which will be chaired by another new appointee Rupert Howell, will include Wales on Sunday, The Sunday Mail in Scotland, The Sunday Mercury in Birmingham and Newcastle’s The Sunday Sun.
Douglas said: "I've spent the last two years pursuing a dream to revitalise this part of the media market, so I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to lead the re-vamp of the Sunday People under James Scott's editorship, as well as develop the other Sunday titles.
“This is a chance to put energy, fun and great journalism into what will become a seven-day digital, one-day print operation."
Between them, the titles have a circulation in excess of 800,000.
Douglas led the Phoenix Ventures consortium in talks over taking a majority stake in The Sunday People but Trinity Mirror pulled out of negotiations last month. However, chief executive Simon Fox is said to have been impressed with Douglas’ ideas for the title.
In a statement to the stock market, Fox said: “”We have got to know Sue and Rupert well over the last few months and are really delighted that they have agreed to join us. Ours is a talent and content business, so to attract talent of this calibre is a real coup.”
Both new appointees will report directly to Fox after Howell was also appointed as group transformation director, charged with “accelerating the company’s strategic transformation plan”.
Howell commented: “I'm delighted to have this opportunity to continue working with Sue, and to work with Simon and (chief operating officer) Mark Hollinshead to drive Trinity Mirror forward. The Group faces a number of challenges in common with the rest of the sector, but is blessed with a fantastic stable of titles across the UK and the determination to pursue its clear strategy to transform its fortunes and build a dynamic and growing media business.”
Howell, a former commercial director at ITV, and Douglas are both expected to take up their new roles in the coming weeks.