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Emap set to appoint COO Maloney as chief executive

LONDON - Media group Emap is understood to be close to appointing Tom Maloney, its chief operating officer, as its next chief executive.

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It is believed that Maloney, who has been in the running for the job with a number of other candidates including the Emap finance director Gary Hughes, will be officially named in the next few weeks.

He will succeed Robin Miller, who has been doing the job on an interim basis since Kevin Hand was forced out in January last year.

Miller, a former Emap chairman, is due to step down in July 2003 and was thrust into the chief executive's role following Hand's exit after Emap's huge losses when it sold its ill-fated American business.

Hand was widely blamed for paying too much when he signed a deal to buy US magazine group Petersen for £720m. It was eventually sold for £365m to Primedia, leaving Emap with a heavy loss.

Hand has since been appointed to run French publisher Hachette in the UK, which is now a major rival to Emap following the ending of their joint venture that gave it control of Red and Elle magazines.

Other names linked to the top job at Emap, which owns Heat magazine as well as radio stations Kiss and Magic FM, include John Makinson, the head of the Pearson-owned publisher Penguin, and United Business Media chief operating officer Malcolm Wall.

The former Carlton chief executive Gerry Murphy, who recently took over as chief executive at Kingfisher, had also been linked to the job.

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