Two senior regional bosses leave Archant after restructure

Archant has undertaken a restructure of its local newspaper divisions that has resulted in two regional managing directors leaving the company.

The regional publishing group said last night Stephan Phillips, managing director of Archant Norfolk has decided to take early retirement and Stuart McCreery, managing director of Archant Suffolk, Herts & Cambs, would leave to pursue other interests.

The departures come amid a reshaping of its business that has led to a number of other senior job changes at the company.

Archant Regional, the group’s newspaper publishing arm, will see three of its businesses covering Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire & Cambridgeshire brought under a single division, Archant Anglia.

The group’s London newspaper and magazine businesses will be combined into a single Archant London division that will be headed by Enzo Testa, currently leader of the London newspaper business.

The current managing director of Archant Lifestyle, Johnny Hustler, will lead Archant Anglia.

Miller Hogg, currently managing director of Archant Specialist, will take over from Hustler at the head of Archant Lifestyle, which spans Archant Life, Archant Specialist and Archant Dialogue and now also includes Archant South West and Archant KOS Media.

News of the restructure follows confirmation last month from Archant that operating profits almost tripled last year across the regional media group.

In a preliminary statement to shareholders, chairman Richard Jewson reported that operating profit was £8.2m in 2010 – up 157 per cent on the £3.2m it made in 2009.

Despite this increase, revenue at Archant was down 1.9 per cent year on year from the £142m it made in 2009 to £139.3m last year.

Archant, which is a privately owned company and therefore does not publish full financial statements to the City, said it continued to look for “efficiencies” during last year. However, it did not go into detail of the extent of its cost cutting.

Newspaper like-for-like revenues for the year fell 5.9 per cent to £92.6m, the company said, in part due to a significant reduction in public sector advertising.

Adrian Jeakings, chief executive of Archant, said of the business restructure: ‘We are living through a time of unprecedented change and increasing competition in the media industry.

‘Our future growth depends on our ability to respond rapidly and cost-effectively to our customers’ evolving needs.

‘These structural changes will help us do this better and faster.”

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