Awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to the newspaper industry and to the community in Cumbria, Burgess is the fourth generation of his family to run Cumbrian media business CN Group, which owns print titles such as the News and Star, North-West Evening Mail, The Cumberland News and Cumbrian Life magazine, as well as three radio stations. The 63-year-old owns a 9% stake individually.
The realities of the declining print market have begun to bite in recent years. Turnover has shrunk from around £40m in 2005 to £25m in 2013, with the company employing 200 fewer people (at around 500) than it had done four years earlier. The company still dominates the market on its patch, but it’s perhaps no surprise that Burgess has recently called for the introduction of online paywalls.