Future appoints former Heart FM founder as next chairman

Former Virgin Radio boss and Heart FM founder Richard Huntingford is to take over as chairman of Bath-based media group Future, bringing with him more than three decades of media sector experience.

Richard, pictured, who was also chairman of Wireless Group (formerly UTV Media) and non-executive director of Virgin Mobile, was appointed a non-executive director of Future with immediate effect on Friday. He will take up the post of chairman on February 1 when current Future chairman Peter Allen steps down. 

Peter said: “I am delighted that someone of Richard’s calibre and track record is taking over as chairman. He has unrivalled experience and expertise across the media sector and will make a considerable contribution to the continued development of the business.”

Richard has been involved in the media sector for more than 30 years and has held a number of executive and non-executive roles in listed and private businesses, including chairman of Wireless Group, founder of Heart FM, CEO of Chrysalis, chairman of Virgin Radio, Boomerang Plus and Creston, and non-executive director of Virgin Mobile.

He said: “I’ve hugely admired Future’s transformation into a global platform for specialist media with scalable, diversified brands and look forward to contributing to the next phase of the company’s growth.”

Future, whose titles span technology, games, music, film, photography, creative & design, field sports and science & knowledge, last month announced a 43% leap in annual sales to £84.4m after a major root-and-branch restructuring lasting several years and including scores of jobs losses at its Bath headquarters, the disposal and acquisition of titles.

Future also achieved strong profits growth – turning last year’s pre-tax loss of just under £15m into a pre-tax profit of £200,000 for the 12 months to September 30. 

The restructuring has been led by Peter Allen, who joined the Future board in August 2011, and chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne joined two years later.



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