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New MD of Cambridge Newspapers Makes Pledge to Bring Products in Digital and Print That are Relevant
New Cambridge and LSN Director Richard Duxbury, picture by Dave Harwood
Published: 23rd April 2014.
He’s a Blackburn Rovers supporter, and he’s managed to achieve what might have seemed like the impossible, turning free-sheets into paid for titles.
The new managing director of Cambridge Newspapers, whose remit also stretches to titles in Northampton, Luton, Bedford and Milton Keynes, is Richard Duxbury, 39, father of three and still playing football.
He comes from within the Local World group, having spent the past two and half years in Lincolnshire where he successful turned the weekly Target series into newspapers people were prepared to pay for.
“Lincolnshire as a county always had immense potential and we set up the business to work better with the community and businesses. We converted the weekly Target series from free to fully paid for by improving the quality, and the success of this demonstrates there is still demand for print products.
“We also launched a series of events, including homes & gardens, awards, renewables, and nostalgia. And we were very careful on costs, we treated the business as if it was our own.”
Richard comes from Selby in Yorkshire and studied law and business at university before “following my friends to London, where I slept on their floor and went into media sales”. That was on the FT Business, followed by The Independent, before he switched to local newspapers, joining Johnston Press in Leeds and Peterborough.
He was with Northcliffe, deputy MD at the Hull Daily Mail, before he went to Lincolnshire. At the beginning of last year newspaper owners Northcliffe, Trinity Mirror and Iliffe, three of the big local newspaper owners, joined forces with former News of the World editor and newspaper boss David Montgomery to form Local World, which includes Cambridge News.
“We had a really good team in Lincolnshire,” Richard says, “and there are similarities here, plus we are very fortunate to be located in very successful markets such as Cambridge, Ely, Luton, Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. We have some great people here, some great brands and products, so the opportunities are significant.
“The plan is to ensure that we deliver products, both digital and in print, that are relevant to local people’s lives. If we listen to what they want, then we will continue to be the ‘turn-to’ place for news, what’s on, sport and commercial solutions.
“We attract a fantastic audience online and in print. The online audience has risen over 130% in the past year to around 70,000 unique daily browsers across our websites, including Cambridge News Online; but for all the focus on digital, print products are as important. I am a true believer that the combination of print and digital is the best choice. It doesn’t matter if people come to us online or in print, as long as it is us they come to.”
Source: Cambridge Evening News
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