Beatty has held several senior posts on Associated titles. He was appointed managing director of The Mail on Sunday in 1996 and the Evening Standard in 1999.
A key member of Metro’s launch team in 1999 and chief operating officer of Associated New Media, Beatty became managing director of Northcliffe Newspapers in 2001.
Media agencies responded positively to his new promotion.
“The appointment comes as no surprise as Kevin has experience of both sides of the business and he will add to the very strong line of people that are already in place. I am sure it will be business as usual,” said Roy Jeans, managing director of Magna UK, Interpublic Group’s buying operation.
“A lot of people were surprised outside of Associated but it makes a lot of sense and Associated have a policy of promoting from within,” he added.
Claudine Collins, press director at MediaCom, said: “Kevin Beatty’s reputation precedes him and Associated do not put people in positions if they haven't shown themselves to be excellent.”
Northcliffe deputy managing director, Michael Pelosi, is to replace Beatty. Pelosi has been with the Northcliffe Newspapers Group since 1988 when he was appointed finance director. He was promoted to deputy managing director in 1995.
His additional responsibilities have included the development of Northcliffe’s overseas interests and restructuring the group's regional printing centres into the Northcliffe Press.
“Pelosi has shown himself to be a competent deputy managing director and has a proven track record,” said Collins.
Lord Rothermere, chairman of the Daily Mail and General Trust, said: "I am delighted to make these two appointments from within the group.
“They illustrate the depth and strength of our management and I am more than confident that our newspapers will continue to prosper under their leadership.”