Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Newsquest names new CEO to replace Davidson

Gannett's U.K. newspaper division, Newsquest, has hired a new CEO to replace the retiring Paul Davidson.

Henry Faure Walker comes from Johnston Press, another ailing regional publisher, according to The Guardian's Roy Greenslade. The change is effective April 1. Davidson will continue as the division's chairman.

Newsquest announced the move in a press release dated Friday, which I found on Corporate's website after Greenslade wrote about the change in a post this morning.

The Newsquest release doesn't say whether Walker will replace Davidson on the top-level Gannett Leadership Team led by CEO Gracia Martore. Adding to the confusion, Corporate hasn't issued a release of its own, which is customary for senior executive appointments. (Hello? The Newsquest release doesn't even include a traditional welcome-aboard quote from Martore.)

No fan of Gannett, Greenslade notes that a Hold The Front Page reader compared the management change to swapping one doomed ship's sailor for another's.

"So the Lusitania has appointed the Titanic's first mate as its new captain," wrote the commenter, aptly named "Shipwreck."

Davidson's retirement plans were first reported in May.

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