WAN-IFRA, the global, industry organisation for the newspaper and news publishing industry, has announced the appointment of Christoph Riess as the new Group Chief Executive of the enlarged WAN-IFRA industry representative body. This appointment follows the merger of the World Association of Newspapers (based in Paris) and IFRA (based in Darmstadt) during 2009. Riess will take charge from February 1, 2010.
Riess joins WAN-IFRA from Mitsubishi Paper, having previously worked for Bertelsmann AG, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen and PaperlinX. Commenting on the appointment, WAN-IFRA President Gavin O’Reilly said: “We are delighted to welcome Christoph as the new leader of WAN-IFRA. He brings both enormous industry experience and a modern, proactive perspective on the needs of the global news publishing industry. His appointment comes at a pivotal and exciting time for WAN-IFRA, following the merger of these two fine institutions in July 2009.”
Riess will be assisted by Timothy Balding, former Chief Executive of the World Association of Newspapers (prior to the merger), who will now become the new Director General of WAN-IFRA Global Affairs. Based in Paris, Balding will continue to lead relations with member associations, governments and international organisations, together with overseeing press freedom and media development, and public affairs. Balding, who is British, had been with WAN since 1985, and had led the Paris-based organisation since 1986.
The future position of Reiner Mittelbach, the CEO of the former IFRA, will be announced at a later stage.