Guardian Media Group Regional Newspapers is forming a new company
to explore new-media opportunities.
It will draw together the internet and broadcast activities of all
regional divisions, which include Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire,
Surrey and Berkshire, and Aldershot.
The managing director of the as yet unnamed company is Debbie Phillips,
who was formerly joint commercial director of the Manchester Evening
Phillips is joined on the board by Manchester Evening News’ deputy
editor Maria McGeoghan, plus Tony Whalley, who will be the new-media
Whalley has been instrumental in developing the Manchester Online
website - part of the This is Britain network - which carries a mixture
of news, sport, entertainment and classified advertisements from
Guardian Media Group’s Greater Manchester titles.
The ad section carries the Fish4 brand.
The new company will also participate in a Cable & Wireless Digital
Interactive television venture, contributing news and classified ads
from the Greater Manchester region.
Phillips said: ’It is our aim to be the gateway to Manchester and we
will be exploring different partnerships and alliances.’
A dedicated sales team, located in Manchester, is being recruited by
Phillips to sell advertising into the company’s electronic ventures. It
will be supported by the ad sales teams of the 40 newspapers in the
Phillips is considering the need for a separate sales team to handle the
Surrey and Berkshire division’s online activities, which include the
website Get Reading.
Guardian Media Group Regional Newspapers’ chief executive Ian Ashcroft
said: ’A dedicated e-business company will be able to focus on a wide
range of new-media opportunities which we have already identified.
’Our electronic ventures to date, particularly Fish4, have all proved