Johnston Press, a UK and Ireland community media group, has appointed Grant Murray as chief financial officer (CFO), replacing Stuart Paterson. Murray will join the board with effect from 3 May 2011, while Paterson leaves on 15 March 2011.
Murray has significant experience in senior financial roles within the media sector, including at Guardian Media Group, Channel 5 Broadcasting, and United Business Media.
As finance director of United’s broadcasting and entertainment division from 1999 to 2001 he was involved in the proposed merger with Carlton, managed the sale of United’s TV businesses to Granada, and was responsible for overseeing United’s investment in Channel Five.
In 2001, Murray joined Channel 5 Broadcasting as CFO, where he drove strategic focus on and around the core broadcasting business and had a leading role in all commercial negotiations. During this period he negotiated a refinancing of the channel, secured substantial reductions in broadcast licence payments to the regulator, and was responsible for the financial and technical aspects of the launch of the company’s two new digital channels and the project to digitise the business’ media content.
In 2010 Murray joined Guardian Media Group as interim group CFO, gaining valuable experience and insight into the newspaper publishing business.
Murray’s early career was at Arthur Andersen & Co, where he qualified as a chartered accountant (CA) and specialised in corporate and international tax, before joining The Rank Group, where he spent 10 years, in a variety of roles including group tax manager, vice president of Rank’s US-based film and entertainment division, and director of financial control of its leisure division. He has an MBA and BSc degree from the University of Edinburgh.
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