Trinity reveals regionals boss

The top tiers at Trinity Mirror are starting to look like Friends Reunited after chief executive Sly Bailey signed up another IPC protégé yesterday.

Trinity Mirror announced that Georgina Crace is to come on board as MD of its regionals operation from next February.

The departure of Crace, who ends her role of MD at IPC Advertising on Friday, will be a blow for her company. As well as successfully running IPC’s sales teams, she has been a respected force in her work for the Periodical Publishers Association’s marketing committee. In addition, she was also responsible for publishing Wallpaper , one of IPC’s flagship titles.

Before Bailey made the transition from IPC to Trinity Mirror two years ago, the pair had a close working relationship as part of the team that concluded the sale of the magazine publisher to Time Warner in October 2001.

The appointment follows the sudden departure of Stephen Parker from MD of Trinity’s regionals three months ago.Other contenders for the job are understood to have included Gary McNish, the boss of Amra, Trinity’s regional sales arm, and Mike Anderson, MD at the Standard .

Parker was just the latest highlevel departure as Bailey reshaped the management structure.

Bailey’s strategic review, begun in summer 2003, saw the loss of 550 jobs and the sale of Trinity’s Northern Ireland titles.

It also followed the culling of other senior staff – nationals’ MD Mark Haysom, corporate development director Richard Wyatt, marketing director Alisdair Luxmoore and national advertising director NeilH urman.

Hurman – now a managing partner at Manning Gottlieb OMD – was replaced by Clare Dove, another one of Bailey’s former colleagues at IPC, where she was formerly group ad director at IPC Southbank.

At the time, Dove’s appointment caused some surprise because of her lack of newspaper background. By contrast, Crace is a former advertisement director at Express Newspapers.

Bailey said of Crace: “She has extensive experience in newspapers, but also brings the creativity and dynamism which has made the magazine sector so successful, as well as a critical focus on circulation and portfolio management.”

Other staff to swap life on the Southbank for Canary Wharf have included Malcolm Stoodley and Suman Deol.

Agencies said they were not surprised. Steve Hickman, press director at WWAV Rapp Collins, said: “It follows a pattern of Sly bringing in good operators.

“She is bringing in people she can trust and it’s something we often see.”

Steve Goodman, group press director at MediaCom, predicted: “She reorganised the way IPC ran their ad sales and I’m sure she will have some ideas for restructuring there"

By James Livesley

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