Johnston Tipped To Take Fry – Out Of Archant And In To The Fire

No announcement to market yet, but and others reckon Scotsman and Yorkshire Post publisher Johnston Press will name Archant top dog John Fry to replace its Tim Bowdler as CEO. Bowdler is due to retire in May.

Johnston has a whopping 318 newspapers and 323 websites but is going through dire times at present. The company sold 20 percent to Malaysian investment unit Usaha Tega in May to raise £249.2 million to throw against its debts, which still stood at £483.9 million last month, when it postponed its dividend, also to use against debt. Johnston is caught up in the worsening advertising downturn, which is biting especially hard in local classifieds, and especially so for a company so exposed to that sector.

Whereas, of Archant, says: “Its combination of websites and very tightly focused weekly papers has prompted some analysts to identify Archant as a model for the industry.” Fry, 51, previously been CEO for a banking software supplier and an alum of Procter & Gambler and Cambridge University.