New chair for Trinity Mirror

PUBLISHING group Trinity Mirror yesterday announced that Sir Ian Gibson will be stepping down as chairman in August 2012 to be replaced by accountant David Grigson (pictured), who will join the board as a non-executive director and chairman designate from 1 January.

Grigson is currently the chairman of communications group Creston and a non-executive director of both Standard Life and supermarket delivery service Ocado. He was previously the chief financial officer of Reuters, where he oversaw its merger with rival media group Thomson, until April 2008.

During Sir Ian’s tenure, Trinity Mirror has reduced its portfolio from 240 to 160 regional titles and seen its shares plummet 92 per cent from as high as 582p to a 2011 average of around 45p.

But since the closure of the News of the World in July, the group – which publishes the Sunday Mirror and People – has seen its Sunday circulation improve significantly on last year’s figures.

An interim statement released by Trinity Mirror earlier this month showed a slower rate of decline in advertising revenues and a strong cash flow in the seventeen-week period to the end of October 2011, which allowed the group to reduce its net debt by £20m to £242m.

Sir Ian has been chairman since May 2006, when his predecessor Sir Victor Blank moved to become chairman of Lloyds TSB.

Its shares lifted four per cent to close at 51p.