Tim Bowdler, outgoing chief executive of Johnston Press, has spoken of his regret at leaving the company £465m in debt with a deflated market value of £77m.
Johnston Press became the second-largest regional media group in Britain under Bowdler’s care, acquiring new titles including the Yorkshire Post and The Scotsman.
However, concern over debt led share prices to plummet by 94% last year
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Bowdler said: ‘However much you rationalise it and claim it is down to factors beyond your control, you are the person who is responsible. I don’t feel good at all – I can’t deny I have presided over a considerable loss of value.”
He said he remains positive about the future of regional newspapers. He said: ‘There is still a great interest in the local community. Newspapers need to become local portals with new revenue streams.”