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Ashley Highfield

Media & Telecoms 2014 speech

27 Feb, 2014

Highfield gives a speech at the Media & Telecoms 2014 conference, titled Reinventing Local Media.

I became convinced, reading enough articles by Mark Sweeney, that the official name of our company was “beleaguered Johnston Press”…There was a tsunami that hit the regional and local press industry. In just one year, 2007-2008, Johnston Press’ share price fell 99%. The dotcom crash that hit the local press industry happened eight years after the dotcom crash, but my God, it was every bit as severe, and every bit as rapid. That was the shift of the classified industry, particularly in motors and property, away from print and on  to Autotrader and Rightmove. Well that shift’s happened. That’s gone. The industry that we are now in, of providing local news and information to people in communities that really matter to them, is a pretty stable business. Since then we have had a four-fold increase in share price.