Hollinshead appointed chief operating officer at Trinity Mirror

MARK Hollinshead – who has been a key figure at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspapers for several years – has been promoted to the role of chief operating officer at the papers’ publisher, Trinity Mirror.

He has been appointed to the post by the company’s new chief executive, Simon Fox, who arrived from HMV last month.

Hollinshead has most recently been managing director of national newspapers, but Fox has announced there is to no longer be a distinction between national and regional newspapers, arguing they both “face fundamentally the same market pressures”.

Says a Trinity Mirror media release, other proposed changes include “digital product development and the specialist digital businesses (recruitment, property and digital marketing services) as well as the group’s contract printing operations” now being separately managed and reporting directly to the chief executive.

Says Trinity Mirror: “These changes allow a flatter, more efficient management structure to be adopted.”

The changes also mean two key figures – Georgina Harvey (managing director, regional newspapers) and Nick Fullagar (director of corporate communications) – leaving the company.

In December, it was announced Trinity Mirror’s Scottish Operation would be revamped as Media Scotland, with closer working relations established between the Record and Sunday Mail and the publisher’s numerous Scottish local newspapers, plus its digital offerings.

The ‘daily bargains’ website, happli – created last year – is being axed.

Hollinshead’s appointment means a vacancy for a managing director of the Daily Record, a post he held concurrently with his MD national newspapers post. He was made MD Daily Record and Sunday Mail in 1998.

Says Trinity Mirror: “Mark Hollinshead’s base pay will be £375,000 per annum. He will continue to have a bonus potential of 75 per cent of salary, of which 50 per cent  is payable in cash and 50 per cent in restricted shares (the release of which will be deferred for three years). For 2012, the bonus is subject to a series of stretching operating profit and revenue targets.”

In a memo to staff, Fox writes: “Five weeks into my career at Trinity Mirror, I am increasingly confident that we are a business with great brands, passionate and dedicated people and enormous potential.

“However, it become increasingly clear that we have a disconnect between what we all want and what our financial projections are showing.

“What we want is to deliver great journalism every day and to see circulation and advertising increasing.

“However, what we are experiencing are continued circulation declines and even faster reductions in advertising revenues.

“What we all want is a clear, forward-looking strategy across our entire publishing operations, both print and digital, which builds on and develops our editorial strength.

“However, what I have largely seen is a scattergun approach to digital which has neglected the development of our core newspaper brands.

“What we want is an efficient operation where those closest to our readers and advertisers have the authority and autonomy to do what is best for each market.

“However, what I have observed are some decisions performed increasingly remotely.

“It is clear therefore that things need to change.

“After such a short time in the business, I evidently do not have detailed answers to the challenges that face us, but I do want to put in place a management structure that ensures we have the best possible chance of addressing these issues quickly and with the long-term health of the business in mind. I am not looking for ‘quick fixes’ but for strategies, which address the structural changes in our industry.”