Regional sales house The Word, which last week lost chief executive
Gavin Caldwell, now faces a battle to keep chairman John Ecclestone.
Ecclestone, who combines his chairmanship of The Word with his role at
Trinity Mirror where he is head of advertising development, is believed
to be considering his own resignation.
If he does decide to depart so soon after Caldwell, The Word will face
its biggest crisis since its inception in 1998. Ecclestone was not
available to comment.
Caldwell, who has said he will stay on until next April, is thought to
have been fed up with the board’s refusal to sanction an expansion of
The Word’s remit.
The Word is effectively funded by subscription payments from its member
regional newspaper groups. Its rationale is to offer agencies a single
buying point for a huge range of national papers. But it is not allowed
to go after advertisers who are using the regional press or run local
versions of national advertising.
In addition, it is becoming increasingly hard for The Word to offer
competitive packages, as the increasingly consolidated regional
newspaper groups are packaging up titles to tie in web advertising and