The stock rose as much as 9.9%.
Mr Fry will start his new job on January 5, Glasgow-based Johnston Press said. He takes over from Tim Bowdler, who earlier this year announced he was retiring. Archant is a closely held British regional newspaper group.
“It’s a low-risk appointment as Fry is a very experienced newspaper manager familiar with all the pressing issues in the industry,” said Alex De Groote, an analyst at Panmure Gordon. “He needs to expand the web business, fight declining print advertising sales and cut costs further.”