Farewell Mark Hollands

In 2006 when I was appointed to the CEO’s role of the newly established The Newspaper Works, it was made very clear to me that it would be independent of any other industry organisation. It would need a separate office. It would have a separate charter and business plan. And of course, a separate board headed by the CEOs of the major newspaper publishers.

It dawned on me shortly afterwards that part of the reason was to keep The Newspaper Works separate from PANPA which, by all assessments, “had lost its way”.

Enter Mark Hollands.

It was like the “white tornado” from the Ajax ads of the 60s and 70s had dropped in to visit the industry. Suddenly I was receiving phone calls and visits about working together on projects, requests to speak and write articles, publications were appearing on my desk, websites were being revamped and the industry seemed a more vibrant place.

In my opinion, Mark saved PANPA from almost certain extinction. The list of initiatives were long – a free Future Forum, revitalised PANPA Newspaper of the Year Awards, the News Now e-zine, sports rights negotiations, and more recently playing a vital role in defining a more effective model for the Australian Press Council.

It is a testament to Mark that we have now come full circle and the newspaper industry will have one industry organisation to speak with a strong, single voice. This was Mark’s vision. He would bang on about it to anyone with a pair of ears willing to listen. That’s Mark – passionate, effusive, sometimes abrasive, calling it as he sees it, always driven with the best intentions for the newspaper industry. Three very long years seem to have flown.

Mark is now off to seek new challenges. We wish him well. But now it’s my turn to pester him – “help out with a special project”, “what do you think of this?” or “how the hell did you do that?” This is not the last we will hear of Mark. We might even want a feature from a world famous crime writer to write an opinion piece for News Now or The Bulletin.

– Tony Hale, CEO, The Newspaper Works

What they said:

“Mark has been a tireless worker for the newspaper industry and Australian journalism, in particular, while at the helm of PANPA. He transformed a struggling organisation into a dynamic player which the industry so desperately needed and he laid the foundations for the new super association which has emerged this year. Almost as a one-man show he ran great conferences, published great agenda-setting magazines and newsletters, and represented newspapers with great confidence – whether at a Senate inquiry or on a local radio station. He knew the game backwards and we have all benefited enormously from that.”- Greg Hywood, CEO, Fairfax Media

“Mark’s work as CEO of PANPA was truly impressive, transforming the organisation during a time of unprecedented change. Mark is a passionate advocate for the newspaper industry and a talented executive. I know the future holds great things for him.” – Joe Talcott, former NPA President, former News Lab Chief Creative, News Limited

“Mark Hollands has made a remarkable contribution to the newspaper industry. He has been at the forefront in raising standards of journalism and helping the industry meet the challenges of change. As an editor I have valued his help and advice on the myriad issues that confront us. I can only hope his deep understanding will not be lost to the industry.”- Bob Cronin, Editor-in-Chief, The West Australian

“Mark’s great skill has been to bring competitive newspaper publishers together for the common good of the industry. His relentless advocacy of the print game and creative facilitation of ideas has helped raise standards overall. This is how most will remember his time at PANPA. He put life back into the industry body and leaves it in great shape. He also deserves thanks for his voice of reason and consistent attention to detail in working with news organisations during their negotiations with sporting bodies over accreditations and content rights.” – Tony Gillies, Editor-in-Chief, Australian Associated Press

“Those of us who have relied on PANPA over many years for industry intelligence and contacts are particularly grateful to Mark for his excellent work in rejuvenating the organisation after an extended unstable period. He swiftly brought it into the digital world, vastly improved member communications, facilitated the transition to the NPA and kept it nicely profitable – not unimportant from a director’s point of view. We wish Mark the very best in his future endeavours.” – Ross McPherson, Executive Chairman, McPherson Media Group

“We would like to thank Mark for his contribution to the NPA and the newspaper industry in recent years. Mark has worked tirelessly to support, develop and challenge the newspaper industry. He can certainly be confident that he is leaving the industry association in much better shape than when he joined it.” – Andrew McKean, Vice President Sales, Marketing and Logistics, Norske Skog Australasia

“Mark has shown his great passion for the publishing industry in his years at Panpa. He has made a great contribution through focusing and streamlining the Panpa activities and creating new communications mediums for the association and industry.”- Ross Wood, Regional CEO ANZ, ATEX

Leave a comment