Stuart Birkett, the former managing director of Johnston Press’ titles in the North East, has joined Trinity Mirror to head up the same patch.

Birkett left Johnston Press in July, following “significant structure changes”, which saw his role as managing director in Scotland disappear.

In an announcement to staff, Steve Anderson-Dixon, managing director, Trinity Mirror Regionals said that Birkett was to become managing director of NCJ Media Limited.

That will mean overseeing titles which would previously have been his competitors, The Chronicle and The Journal.

“Stuart has an excellent commercial and general management pedigree acquired over many years, having been Managing Director of Tweedd ale Press, then Johnston Press regional managing director North East where he was responsible for 16 daily and weekly newspaper titles across north east England and the Scottish Borders including the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette, Hartlepool Mail, Southern Reporter and Northumberland Gazette,” said Anderson-Dixon.

“Stuart, born in the North East, has deep roots in the community and strong business connections across the wider region. He is a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland and a Non Executive Director of Northumberland Tourism.”

It was also announced that Bob Cuffe, the former regional managing director of Trinity Mirror North East, has rejoined the company as managing director of the Gazette Media Company. He’ll take up the role on December 8th.

“Bob, as I’m sure you are aware, lives and breathes Teesside  and has established himself in the business community over a great many years. He is a Non Executive Director of the Darlington Building Society and a Governor of the Teesside University,” added Anderson-Dixon.

“His local knowledge, commercial acumen and business connections will undoubtedly be of great value.”