Williams appoints newspaperman Harris to new centralised News role

Among the first moves from new News Limited chief executive Kim Williams has been to appoint a newspaperman, Jerry Harris as his managing director for group newspapers and digital products.

Williams joined News on December 1 from Foxtel, and is the company’s first chief executive with a non-newspaper background.

The appointment is seen as a step to centralise management and curb the autonomy of state-based business units.

Harris has been head of News Queensland – based on the Queensland Newspapers business which for much of its history, was a separate part of the Murdoch family shareholdings – publisher of metro daily the ‘Courier-Mail’, ‘Sunday Mail’, Brisbane ‘mX’ and local publications under the Quest banner.

Harris will be based to Sydney and report directly to the chief executive.

“In his new role, Jerry and I will work side by side to ensure our newspapers have the required management focus to achieve the results we expect from them,” Williams says.

“We will be accelerating the roll-out of premium digital content by each masthead across online, mobile and other emerging platforms.”

Harris has worked for News Limited and its UK sister company, News International, for 30 years. A replacement for him at News Queensland is yet to be announced.

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