Chief executive of Scotsman and Yorkshire Post owner ousted after takeover

The chief executive of regional newspaper giant JPI Media has been ousted, weeks after the company’s £10.2 million takeover.

It is understood that David King left JPI, which owned titles including the Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post, earlier this month alongside other members of the company’s leadership team.

On New Year’s Eve, the publisher was snapped up by National World, the media takeover vehicle led by former Mirror Group boss David Montgomery.

The PA news agency understands the changes are part of a shake-up of the company’s leadership structure to dismantle JPI’s previous executive team and pass their responsibilities on to regional title editors and executives at National World.

Last week, JPI confirmed the departure of editor-in-chief Jeremy Clifford, as well as group commercial director Andy Sumner, company secretary Peter McCall, group development director Jason Rowse-Davies and interim chief financial officer Cormac O’Shea.

Mr King had been chief executive at the group, including under its previous guise of Johnston Press, for almost three years, having previously been the company’s finance chief.

Last month, National World said the acquisition would allow it to “implement its strategy of creating a sustainable local online news publishing model”.

Announcing the move, Mr Montgomery said: “JPI’s historic publishing brands represent the best in journalism and have reliably served their communities and supported local businesses, in some cases for centuries, and never more than in the last year.

“National World will uphold this tradition and implement modern technology to grow the business across a wider footprint based on high quality, unique content.”

He appointed a new chief commercial officer and a new board member at the same time.

JPI is thought to have had revenues of £85 million and earnings of £6 million in 2020.

It had been looking for a buyer since 2018, and offloaded the i newspaper to DMGT, which owns the Daily Mail, in 2019.