The magazine publisher and radio group Emap ended its six-month search for a new chief executive yesterday, plumping for Tom Moloney, a 22-year veteran of the company.
Mr Moloney will succeed Robin Miller, who has been acting as chief executive since last year. In clinching the top job Mr Moloney has seen off stiff competition from elsewhere in the media sector and beyond.
Stephen Carter, the UK boss of NTL until last month, and Malcolm Wall, chief operating officer of United Business Media, are thought to have been on the short-list of Whitehead Mann, the recruitment consultants appointed by Emap to fill the role.
There was also speculation that Gerry Murphy, formerly the head of Carlton Communications and soon to be head of retail giant Kingfisher, was approached and turned down the top job.
Mr Moloney, 43,will step up from his position as chief operating officer to chief executive on 23 January. He was paid a total of £550,000 last year. Adam Broadbent, Emap's chairman, said, said Mr Moloney's new pay package was being kept under wraps, but added: "Don't expect anything of a headline inspiring nature."
Mr Broadbent said the nomination committee, made up of non-executive directors, had "no views" about whether an internal or external candidate would be best. External candidates remained in the running until the last stages of the recruitment process, the company said.
Mr Moloney, who oversaw the launch of gossip magazine Heat in the UK and FHM in the US, said he would continue with the "current strategy and existing team".
He attempted to dampen speculation that Emap, which owns Kiss FM and a series of radio stations in the North of England, would be first off the blocks to take part in the expected round of consolidation in the radio sector later this year.
Mr Moloney conceded that Emap's ambitions were "curtailed" in the US by its disastrous foray into the publishing market there. The difficulties cost Kevin Hand, Emap's chief executive until last year, his job. Emap's shares fell 2 per cent to 741p.
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