Veteran News Corp Australia executive John Webster has come out of retirement to manage News’ Tasmanian papers after leaving the company in 2013.
The former national director of The Australian was named general manager of Davies Bros last week and will oversee publications including the Mercury, Tasmanian Country and The Gazette.
Rod Harris has also been appointed general manager of advertising for The Mercury. He will be responsible for growing advertising sales revenue for the paper and News Corps’ other Tasmanian print and digital assets.
Mr Webster spent 35 years working for News Corp in roles including chief sub-editor of the Melbourne Herald, sports editor of the Melbourne Sun News Pictorial, group editorial technology manager as well as being a key member of the 2000 News Limited Olympic planning team.
Upon his retirement in 2013, Mr Webster said he felt like he’d had “at least six different careers” during his 35 years at News Corp.
“For many years I enjoyed the cut and thrust of the deadline intensity of daily journalism, producing big stories against the clock,” Mr Webster said in 2013.
“I have seen our craft evolve from the exciting noise and heat of the hot-metal era, through the dramatic changes to computer production, to the power of the Internet and now the eye-opening wonders of the new digital age. What a journey, and what an experience.”
Mr Webster’s achievements include leading the implementation of the Cybergraphic production system at HWT, leading the integration of the Courier Newspaper group with Cumberland in 2007, promoting digital subscriber growth for The Australian and providing innovative ways to cover the Sydney Olympics.
Mr Webster will begin his Tasmanian role in mid-November and will replace Tom Salom who acted in the role after the retirement of Rex Gardner in July.