Murdoch MacLennan (born 10 April 1949) is a British senior media executive. He is Chairman of the Press Association Group, Independent News & Media, and also of the Scottish Professional Football League.
Previously he was the Group Managing Director of Associated Newspapers from 1994 to 2004. He has held a number of roles for publishing groups within the British newspaper industry and in international bodies.
Early life and career
MacLennan was born on 10 April 1949 in Glasgow, Scotland, to Donald MacLennan (1919-1991) and Hazel MacLennan (née Hope, 1923).
MacLennan began his career as a graduate trainee at The Scotsman in Edinburgh, then worked for titles in Newcastle and South Wales before moving to Reading as production manager for a regional weekly. He joined the board of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail as production director in 1982. Both papers were part of Mirror Group Newspapers, and he then became the group's director of production in 1984. He moved to Express Newspapers a year later in 1985 to become production and technical director. In 1989, he joined Associated Newspapers as Managing Director of Harmsworth Quays. In 1992, he returned to Mirror Group as group operations director of Mirror Group Newspapers and managing director of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail remaining until 1994, when he returned to Associated Newspapers.
Telegraph group and industry roles
In August 2004, he was appointed as the CEO of the Telegraph Media Group. He stepped down from the role in June 2017, becoming deputy chairman of the group. He stepped down from this role in March 2018, but remains a non-executive member of the board of directors.
In 2010, he became Non-Executive Chairman of the Press Association Group, a multi-platform content provider, in addition to his role at the Telegraph Media Group. He was President of IFRA in Darmstadt (the global technical association for newspapers) from 1997–2003 became a vice president of the World Association of Newspapers (2003–2010). He is a member of the European Publishers’ Council (EPC) and a director of the International News Media Association (INMA).
MacLennan has twice been Chairman of the Newspaper Publishers Association (2005-2007; 2013-2014). He is a member of the Regulatory Funding Company Board and in 2015 he joined the Google DNI Council.
MacLennan was a member of the Commission on Scottish Devolution (The Calman Commission). He was appointed an Honorary Professor attached to the Business School at Glasgow University in 1997 and has been the Chancellor’s Assessor on the Court of Glasgow University since 2009. MacLennan has initiated and led media sponsorships, such as the Chair in Environmental Newspaper Technologies at the University of Paisley and has been involved in developing other media related campaigns, such as the ‘Newspapers in Education’ initiative in Scotland which led to a major project on ‘The Year 2000’ being undertaken by every school in the country.
MacLennan is involved in several charities, including the Journalists’ Charity, and was President of the Printing Charity from 2012 to 2013.
He holds other directorships, including Vice-President and Appeals Chairman of the Newspaper Press Fund and Festival chairman of Newstraid. He is a Companion of the Institute of Management and a Freeman of the City of London.
MacLennan was appointed chairman of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) in July 2017.. There was criticism that MacLennan is not impartial in his role with the SPFL considering the fact that INM's majority shareholder is Celtic's majority shareholder Dermot Desmond. One of Desmond close associates and fellow Celtic fan Denis O'Brian is also an INM shareholder. The SPFL refused to investigate the connection.
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- "SPFL appoints new Chairman". SPFL. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- Ponsford, Dominic (15 March 2018). "Murdoch MacLennan steps down from deputy chairman role at Telegraph Media Group". Press Gazette. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "Murdoch MacLennan Profile". Bloomberg. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- Litterick, David. "Telegraph appoints ex-Daily Mail chief". Telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- Sweney, Mark (14 June 2017). "Telegraph chief executive Murdoch MacLennan steps down after 13 years". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- "MacLennan to be next president of Printing Charity". InPublishing. InPublishing Ltd. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "Media executive Murdoch MacLennan is new SPFL chairman". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
- "Murdoch MacLennan replaces Leslie Buckley as INM chairman". Irish times. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- "Paisley University Graduations". The Herald Scotland. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
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