Stevie Spring joins Future

Change of chief executive for publisher as it reveals serious decline in profits.

Future Publishing has appointed Stevie Spring, the former head of Clear Channel, as its new chief executive in the same week it announced a £12.1 million loss.

Spring, who left her role as the chief executive of Clear Channel in January, replaces Greg Ingham, who has worked at Future for 18 years, eight of those as its chief executive.

Roger Parry, Future's chairman, said the publisher had appointed someone who it felt would raise the profile of its titles within the advertising community. He added that he hoped Spring's appointment would bring more advertising pounds into Future's stable of magazines. "We're not getting our fair share of display advertising," he said.

The management change coincides with poor interim results from Future this week.

The publisher reported its pre-tax profits have fallen from £11.1 million in the six months to the end of March 2005 to a pre-tax loss of £12.8 million. The major profit falls were due to poor performance from the publisher's gaming titles including Official PlayStation2 Magazine and Xbox 360.

Future expects profits to be better in the second half of the year but below market expectations for the next 18 months.

Future, which publishes 150 magazines, announced its intention two years ago to double the size of the business by 2008. However, Parry this week said that the company would be focusing more on organic growth."The board has decided to scale back the ambitious policy of rapid expansion," he said.

But Spring was keen to stress that she would not be making huge cutbacks to existing operations. "I haven't been brought in as a hatchet man," she said.

She added that Future's internet strategy needs work and that she would be going through every part of the business "book by book". "This is a period of stablisation when we should be concentrating on delivery," she said.

Spring joins Future on 3 July.

- Opinion, page 21.

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