Crisis at The Word with rumours of another defection

Regional sales house The Word, which last week lost chief executive Gavin Caldwell, now faces a battle to keep chairman John Ecclestone.

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

door drops.



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