Mecom chief Montgomery faces rebellion at Dutch newspaper

Journalists are rebelling against the sudden departure of chief executive Joop Munsterman.

David Montgomery, chief executive of the Pan-European publisher Mecom, is reportedly facing a rebellion by the journalists at the publisher's Dutch newspaper operation, Wegener.

According to the Guardian, the journalists are rebelling against the sudden departure of chief executive Joop Munsterman. They had given Montgomery an ultimatum to outline the rationale and planned strategic direction of the publisher by last Friday.

The development comes after Montgomery sent out a statement last Monday saying Munsterman, who joined the publisher in 1967, would be replaced by Truls Velgaard, who is the chairman of Mecom's Norwegian operation. He, however, said that Munsterman would remain on the board until 1 January 2011.

The Guardian adds that Montgomery met about 40 senior staff but was unable to persuade them. They reportedly demanded a written explanation as soon as possible for Wegener.

The Dutch trade union for journalists had planned a meeting on Monday to discuss the development.

Wegener, which employs about 3,500 staff and publishes seven dailies and about 100 free dailies, is critical to the future of Mecom.