POST MEDIA LTD
FORMER editor-in-chief of The Australian and South China Morning Post David Armstrong has been appointed chairman of Post Media Ltd as part of a major editorial and commercial reshuffle.
Bernie Leo, a senior editor at the Shanghai Daily, has been appointed the editor-in-chief of the media group, which purchased The Phnom Penh Post in 2008 and took it from a fortnightly to a daily in August of that year. It also added a Khmer-language daily in September 2009 and a weekly sports journal in March of this year.
The Post’s publisher, Ross Dunkley, said the company had been searching for a chairman for some time.
“In the end choosing David Armstrong was simple. He’s one of only a handful in the world today who can claim to have successfully straddled the media both in the East and the West,” Dunkley said.
“He’s enthusiastic and young at heart, but at the same time it is his wisdom and sensibility which we value, and the shareholders are confident he is the right person at the right time. David has already put his stethoscope over our media assets in both Myanmar and Cambodia and understands where we are going.”
Australian miner and entrepreneur Bill Clough is stepping down as chairman but will remain as a director and major shareholder.
Clough is part of the Clough family from Perth. His father, Harold Clough, is also a shareholder and is a former director of West Australian Newspapers.
Armstrong brings to the group more than 40 years’ experience in journalism and newspaper management at the highest level in Australia and Southeast Asia as it eyes a second phase of aggressive growth.
“The company has come a long way in a very challenging financial and media environment, and as we move into our third year of operations we are delighted to have David on board,” Dunkley said.
“We have already successfully turned The Phnom Penh Post into Cambodia’s first international-standard daily and launched a sister publication that is rapidly gaining market share in a crowded Khmer-language market. But there is still plenty of untapped opportunity, and David will guide our new-look team as we move forward to capture them.”
Armstrong, 62, began his career as a reporter for The Australian (Australia’s national daily newspaper) and was most recently president and chief operating officer of Post Publishing, the owner of The Bangkok Post in Thailand.
the company has come a long way in a very challenging... environment.
He is a former editor-in-chief of The Australian and group editor-in-chief of Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, where he did two stints. He has also served as editor of The Bulletin, then Australia’s national news magazine, editor of The Canberra Times and deputy editor of Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph.
“Cambodia is moving on from its traumatic past and is a fascinating, rapidly growing country,” Mr Armstrong said. “Post Media’s newspapers are a key part of this development – reporting on it and contributing to it. As with the country, the company and its papers face a lot of challenges, and it will take a lot of hard work to meet those, but I believe all have a strong future.”
Leo, 57, who will replace Seth Meixner at the editorial helm of the group, has been recruited from the Shanghai Daily, where for the past three years he has held key positions, including chief language adviser to the editor-in-chief and senior editor responsible for pages 1, 2, and 3.
He has been a journalist and editor for 39 years, including stints at The Daily Telegraph and a decade at The Australian Financial Review, where he was production editor and associate editor.
Joining him from Shanghai is his partner, Sarah Macklin, a journalist who won a Walkley Award during a 10-year stint at The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Cambodia is a country with a sad and tragic yesterday, a promising today and a limitless tomorrow,” Leo said.
“The Phnom Penh Post will be an integral part of Cambodia’s growth ride, and I relish the challenge of taking the newspaper to even greater heights.”
From July 1, Meixner will be acting as an editor at large. He will leave The Post at year’s end to return to the United States with his family.
“Seth has been a rigorous editor, and his ability to shoulder the workload and commitment to the ideals of The Post made him the backbone of the newspaper as we went about going daily,” Dunkley said.
“As Seth moves on to new challenges in his career he leaves a hole to fill, but Bernie Leo is more than up to the task, and we look forward to taking advantage of Mr Leo’s skills.”
In other changes, Brian Gow, a Perth media professional, has been appointed as the company’s first commercial director, and Charles Amery will edit special sections. Staffer Ellie Dyer has been confirmed as business editor of The Post’s English edition.