O'Reilly Jr made second in command
at Independent News & Media
LONDON - Gavin O'Reilly, the son of Irish media tycoon Sir Anthony O'Reilly, has been named chief operating officer of Independent News & Media, putting him in line to succeed his father.
He will continue with his role of chief executive Ireland, a position he took up in January 1999, but will also have the heads of Independent's overseas operations reporting to him.
Independent has assets in the UK, including The Independent, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. O'Reilly recently worked on a deal that saw the company increase its holdings in Australia's fifth-largest media firm, APN News & Media, by selling its stake in New Zealand media firm, Wilson & Horton Holdings.
Commentators have said that the appointment of 34-year-old O'Reilly gives an indication of his father and chairman Sir Anthony's plans for succession at the newspaper business. An older son, Cameron, left Independent in 1999 for reasons that have not been made public, although he remains on the board.
In an interview with The Wall Street Transcript earlier this year, O'Reilly admitted they were not in the "sexiest" markets. However, he said the reason that Independent had not expanded into the US was the cost of buying a newspaper there. "There are too many guys there with big wallets that want to own a local newspaper and we do not believe in overpaying for our assets," he said.
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