Roger Parry

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Roger Parry
Roger Parry at the Festival of Media
Roger Parry at the Festival of Media Montreux 2012
Born 1953 (age 63–64)
London, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Education Jesus College, Oxford,
Bristol University,
Sutton Grammar School for Boys
Occupation Businessman, journalist
Known for BBC, Clear Channel,
Globe Theatre, HMV, ITV,
Jazz fm, LBC, YouGov,
Spouse(s) Johanna Waterous
Children 1

Roger George Parry CBE (born 1953) is a media entrepreneur based in the UK. He is Chairman of a number of media groups quoted on the London Stock Exchange including Mobile Streams plc and YouGov plc.[1] He was a co-founder of the international marketing communications group MSQ Partners.[2] and of the television drama production company Chrysalis Vision.[3][4] He is a Visiting Fellow of Oxford University.[5] And is the author of five books and writes extensively on the media and associated topics. He was Chairman of the Trustees of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.[6] for 8 years.

Early life[edit]

Born in London, he was a pupil at Sutton Grammar School for Boys, and educated at the Universities of Bristol and Oxford.[7]


From 1998 to 2005 he was CEO of Clear Channel International which, at the time, was the World's largest operator in radio broadcasting, live entertainment and outdoor advertising. In 2006 Clear Channel was taken private in a buyout valued at US$27 billion. The live entertainment division was later floated as a new company under the name Live Nation Entertainment

In 2007 Parry become Executive Chairman of international marketing communications group Media Square plc which he subsequently took private in a management buy-out in 2011 to create an employee owned business called MSQ Partners.[8]

From 2001 to 2009 he was Chairman of Johnston Press plc, the UK's largest regional newspaper group. Based in Edinburgh it owns more than 300 titles including The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post. From 2001 to 2011 he was Chairman of magazine publisher Future plc (based in London, Bath and San Francisco) which owns more than 100 titles including Total Film, Digital Camera and Xbox Magazine.

In 1998 Parry was one of the founding directors of Clear Media which has become one of China's leading outdoor advertising companies. In 2001 Clear Media was floated on the Hong Kong stock market with a value of US$450 million. Parry was Deputy chairman.[9]

From 1995 to 1998 he was CEO of the UK media company More Group plc.[10]

In 1998 Parry was appointed as a Trustee of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre having been involved with the project since 1987 when he wrote the original business plan – whilst a consultant at McKinsey. In 2005 he was appointed as chairman a post he held until 2013. He was succeeded by Lord Falconer

In the 1990s he was part of the team that restructured Aegis Group and built up Carat the media buying network. In 1993 he was appointed the President of Carat North America.[11]

In the late 1980s he was Development Director of the advertising group WCRS which became The Engine Group.

In the mid-1980s he was a consultant with McKinsey & Co.[12] He was there at the same time as Adair Turner, Howard Davies and Archie Norman.

From 1977 to 1985 he was a television and radio reporter with the BBC, ITV and LBC. He worked on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, BBC News and Thames News.[13]

His first job in 1976 was as personal assistant to Charles and Maurice Saatchi, the founders of Saatchi & Saatchi.[14]


In February 2014 The Sunday Times reported that Parry along with entrepreneurs Chris Wright And Luke Johnson had founded a company to produce television drama called Chrysalis Vision.[15] In December 2015 they used the innovative crowdfunding platform CrowdCube to raise US$500,000 (UK£330,000) to fund operations.[16][17]

In both 2011 and 2012 Parry was the Chairman of the Global Festival of Media held in Montreux[18]

In November 2010 Parry was named by bookmakers Paddy Power as the 11/8 favourite to become the next Chairman of the BBC Trust – a role which in fact went to Lord Patten[19]

In 2009 he was commissioned by the UK's Conservative Party to write a report on the future of local media.[20][21] His proposals on local TV were subsequently adopted as Government policy by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.[22][23]

Also in 2009 he was appointed as the Chairman of the Local Media Alliance which was a consortium of local newspaper groups lobbying for changes to the UK's competition regulations[24]

During 2006 he was linked with a number of private equity bids including one for the retail chain HMV[25] and another for the British television broadcaster ITV.[26] He was twice forced by the UK Takeover Panel to deny rumours that he was about to bid for ITV.[27]

Between 2000 and 2005, he was frequently mentioned as a possible bidder for the radio station Capital 95.8 and in 2003 the CEO of Capital said that if Parry did make an offer it would be rejected out of hand. According to The Guardian newspaper, Parry responded to this by saying: It would be like Ann Widdecombe turning down a date from Brad Pitt[28]

In 2003 it was suggested that Parry as Chairman of Johnston Press might have agreed to the sacking of the editor of a local paper in Hartlepool who had been critical of his local MP Peter Mandelson at the request of the Prime Minister Tony Blair. Parry was highly critical of the Hartlepool Mail editor in a speech he gave to the Johnston Press Editors' conference. The attack was so pointed that North East Press (a division of Johnston Press) Editorial Director Andrew Smith raised the speech with Chief Executive Tim Bowdler. Mandelson, Blair and Parry had been contemporaries at Oxford University in the late 1970s. All three men subsequently denied the allegation.[29][30] Hartlepool Mail editor Harry Blackwood subsequently accepted an out of court settlement from Johnston Press.

In 2003 as the largest private shareholder in the radio station 102.2 Jazz FM Parry held the casting votes in a hostile take-over by the Guardian Media Group which was opposed by the Jazz FM management. He voted for the sale and was criticised by the Jazz FM CEO.[31]

In 1999 Parry and Mark Slater floated a company called Internet Indirect plc on the London Stock Exchange which rapidly achieved a market value in excess of £200 million.[32] In 2000 it was sold to rival technology investment group Newmedia Spark plc with Parry and Slater reported to have made more than £3m[33]

In 1998 during a contested bid battle for More Group plc he referred to the Chief Executive of commercial rival JC Decaux and would-be hostile bidder, Jean- Francois Decaux, as being two baguettes short of a picnic .[34]

In 1984 he was named as one of the people behind the highly successful pirate radio station Laser 558.[35] Also that year Parry was a member of a consortium including Jocelyn Stevens and Tina Brown which attempted, but failed, to win the franchise for the London radio station LBC. In 1994 he tried again with London Radio which also involved broadcaster John Tusa and was, this time, successful but sold the station 9 weeks later at a profit of £5 million.[36]

Parry was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to media and the arts, particularly the Globe Theatre.[37]


In July 2006 he wrote an article for the Financial Times about the future of television and the Internet called A Box to transform the media[38] which resulted in a lively debate about the convergence of technologies and the effect on broadcast television[39]

He writes numerous book reviews including:

Wikinomics by Don Tapscott in 2007.[40] Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe in 2008[41] and Free by Chris Anderson in 2009[42] One Click – the biography of Jeff Bezos by Richard Brandt[43] and The Firm by Duff McDonald[44]

His published books are:

  • Parry, Roger (2013). Delivering the Neural Nudge. London: MSQ Partners. ISBN 9781484010075. 
  • Parry, Roger (2011). The Ascent of Media. London: Nicholas Brealey. ISBN 1-85788-570-8. 
  • Parry, Roger; George Hazel (2004). Making Cities Work. London: Wiley-Academy. 
  • Parry, Roger (2003). Enterprise:The leadership role. London: Profile. ISBN 1-86197-634-8. 
  • Parry, Roger (1991). People Businesses: Managing Professional Service Firms. London: Random House. ISBN 0-09-174661-2. 


  1. ^ Jane Martinson Roger Parry: Profile. The serial media executive, Guardian, 8 September 2006
  2. ^ MSQ Partners web site
  3. ^ Chrysalis Vision
  4. ^ Simon Duke [1], Sunday Times, 16 February 2014
  5. ^ Visiting Fellows Archived 11 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Globe [2], 2007
  7. ^ Who's Who 2005: An Annual Biographical Dictionary (157th annual ed.). London: A & C Black. ISBN 0-7136-7010-X. 
  8. ^ Media Square chairman and CEO lead management buyout | News | Research Live
  9. ^ Damian Reece Clear Media Float Daily Telegraph, 9 December 2001
  10. ^ Saeed Shah Roger Parry: The man with the plan for ITV does his rounds of London's media village, Independent, 9 September 2006
  11. ^ Stuart Ellliot A British agency in the US, The New York Times, 21 August 1996
  12. ^ McKinsey News "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-22. , Alumni News 13 June 2006
  13. ^ "Roger Parry's carnival clichés". The Guardian. UK. 
  14. ^ A List [3], Campaign, 2006
  15. ^ Simon Duke Can we make a killing from boxed sets?, Sunday Times, 16 February 2014
  16. ^ Hannah Gannagé-Stewart Chrysalis Vision Embraces Crowdfunding, Broadcast,20 November 2015
  17. ^ Chrysalis Vision Overfunded [4], CrowdCube
  18. ^ Festival of Media
  19. ^ Steve Hewlett [5] Guardian, 22 November 2010
  20. ^ Maisie McCabe Troubleshooter April 21st 2009
  21. ^ Creating Viable Local Multi-Media Companies in the UK Archived 18 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine. July 2009
  22. ^ "Tories call for American-style local news channels by Andrew Porter". Daily Telegraph=UK. 14 July 2009. 
  23. ^ "Tories plan 80 city-based TV stations for local news by Dan Sabbagh". The Times=UK. 15 July 2009. 
  24. ^ Dominic Ponsford Overwhelming evidence Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Press Gazette, 30 March 2009
  25. ^ Andrew Davidson The leading man in Permira’s HMV bid, Sunday Times 12 February 2006
  26. ^ James Robinson Can Roger Parry see his way clear to take control of ITV? Archived 7 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine., Observer, 6 August 2006
  27. ^ Chris Tryhorn Parry rules out ITV bid, Media Guardian 11 October 2006
  28. ^ Jessica Hodgson Cultures clash at Capital, The Observer, 20 July 2003
  29. ^ "Monkey Business in the North by John Booth". The New Statesman. UK. 10 March 2003. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. 
  30. ^ "The Burke and Hare of Politics". Daily Mail. UK. 24 February 2003. 
  31. ^ Dan Milmo Guardian closes in on Jazz FM, The Guardian 22 May 2002
  32. ^ Julia Finch Net News Guardian, 21 October 2000
  33. ^ Simon Goodley NewMedia Board Daily Telegraph, 20 December 2001
  34. ^ Christene Harper Insults fly in battle of the billboards, The Independent, 3 May 1998
  35. ^ "Exclusively revealed – The Mysterious People Behind Radio Laser." [6], Evening Standard, Sunday Times
  36. ^ Media Guardian 100 Roger Parry, The Guardian, 12 July 2004
  37. ^ "No. 60728". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2013. p. 9. 
  38. ^ A Box to transform media Financial Times, 3 July 2006
  39. ^ [7] Financial Times, 3 July 2006
  40. ^ Wikinomics[dead link]
  41. ^ Crowdsourcing[dead link]
  42. ^ Free[dead link]
  43. ^ One Click
  44. ^ The Firm