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New owner signals intent with major commercial investment


Regional news operation has bulked up its commercial team with the appointment of five new staff.

The quintet have all joined within the last month and represent a significant investment in the site by new owner Mark Hales, who took control of the site in July.

Speaking to Prolific North, founder David Parkin said that the new recruits would soon be followed by major digital investment in the site. The company is working again with Rippleffect, who designed the existing site.

New starters Ruth Taylor, Chris Morley, Matthew Davis, Brett Murray and Mark Rodgers New starters Ruth Taylor, Chris Morley, Matthew Davis, Brett Murray and Mark Rodgers

He said: “We are coming up to our sixth anniversary and we want to make sure that we not only keep up but stay ahead.

“We’re looking at all aspects in terms of digital technology and we’re sure our investment will include apps and mobile technology.

“It’s quite exciting to think that for the first time in a while we’ll be able to properly invest in the site.”

Parkin confirmed that the site was seriously considering a move into a new region, although he said that currently no location or timeframe had been decided upon.

He added that since the change of ownership he had been freed up to focus more on editing the Yorkshire edition, although he was still looking to find a long-term replacement for Ian Briggs.

The five new staff include Mark Rodgers, the former managing director of Sheffield Newspapers, who joins as commercial director.

He will be supported by Lee-J Walker, who has been promoted to senior commercial manager after nearly four years at the company.

Also joining are Ruth Taylor from The Yorkshire Mafia, Linda Anderson from Sodexo and former Trinity Mirror commercial manager Matthew Davis. Chris Morley moves from Crosby Associates while Brett Murray has previously worked in telecoms for the likes of the Caudwell Group.

The six new positions will not be region-specific and will cover all three editions.

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