User login

Ashley Highfield: Print is Not Dead

Ashley Highfield, the new chief executive of Johnston Press, has pledged his commitment to printed newspapers which are “incredibly strong in local communities.”

Mr Highfield said this week that it was “quite clear” that newspapers were not dead and that one of his aims in his new role is to “get the right balance between print and digital.”

He told The Herald: “The opportunities are very clear with Johnston Press, as with other regional publishers, because the brands of the local newspapers are incredibly strong in local communities. The trick is to help move those brands into the digital age and get the right balance between print and digital.

“However, it is not exclusive. I do see an opportunity for stabilising and, hopefully, in a number of areas increasing circulation revenue as well.

“It is quite clear to me that newspapers in print are not dead. It is about finding what audiences need and what mixture of print and digital products to offer them.”

Mr Highfield was speaking following the publication of an interim management statement in which Johnston Press reported a growth in digital revenues and a further slowing of the decline in overall advertising revenues.

Display advertising, the publisher’s largest revenue category, had “continued to perform relatively well in a difficult UK advertising market,” the publisher said in Tuesday’s statement.

The NS is the voice of Britain’s local media, the UK’s most trusted medium. It represents 1,100 newspapers, 1,700 websites and other print, digital and broadcast channels.