Whelan, who left the Telegraph in July 2005, takes on the new role at MGN, reporting to the recently appointed ad director David Emin.
Before joining the Telegraph in April 2005, Whelan was the ad director at The Scotsman. His arrival at MGN follows the recent departure of head of newspapers Mike Allen.
Allen's departure led Richard Webb, the managing director of MGN, to devise a new structure involving the appointment of a head of trading and a head of business development both reporting to Emin.
Emin was unavailable for comment.
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