Independent News and Media (INM) chairman Leslie Buckley and a non-executive director will step down from its board, as a major overhaul at the top of the media firm continues, writes Eamon Quinn.
INM has been enveloped in an extraordinary corporate row for over a year which led to an ongoing investigation by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, the ODCE.
Former chief executive Robert Pitt, who resigned in October, had used whistleblowing legislation as a dispute involving Mr Buckley raged inside the media firm over the potential acquisition of Newstalk.
The broadcaster is owned by Denis O’Brien, who also holds a large stake in INM.
INM named four new non-executive directors, including Murdoch MacLennan, current deputy chairman of the UK’s Telegraph Media Group, and former group managing director at Associated Newspapers, the Daily Mail publisher.
The other appointments include John Bateson, managing director of Dermot Desmond’s International Investment and Underwriting, which has a shareholding in INM; and Fionnuala Duggan, who heads KNect365 Learning.
She “has enjoyed success in repositioning traditional industries for the digital age”, INM said. Seamus Taaffe, a former member of the KPMG Ireland board, will also join the board.
INM shares rose over 4%.
Despite €90m in the bank, the firm is valued at €141.43m.
Mr Buckley thanked colleagues “for their support during what has been an eventful and challenging time for the company and for the Irish newspaper industry as a whole”.