News Comment

Monday 24 October 2016

Joe's vision was uncompromising - but galvanising

Michael Denieffe

Published 12/07/2016 | 02:30

Former Independent Newspapers Managing Director Joe Hayes
Former Independent Newspapers Managing Director Joe Hayes

Denis Joseph Hayes hit Independent Newspapers - and, by association, the Irish newspaper market - in the grey days of 1979, and immediately made a stunning impact.

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Joe - the smart, charming, articulate son of Ballyduff - was also tough, abrasive, innovative and not respectful of traditional management and editorial boundaries.

He brought editors and executives from the relative comfort zone of content management, design headline counts and opinion formation into the fraught commercial arena of responsibility for circulation, readership and profitability.

Using a relentless and exhaustive combination of inclusivity, leadership and sheer market instinct, he pioneered the dynamic use of prime editorial content with astute marketing tools to massively drive up the market penetration of Independent Newspapers titles.

He forged a management partnership with editorial, advertising and production that was uncompromising and demanding, but galvanising in its vision. He also utilised every possible outlet and opportunity in the realms of business and politics to achieve goals.

Joe ultimately left newspapers in his own time, but maybe too soon for the rest of us.

His media horizons were the headlands of print. Who knows what furrows he would have ploughed in the spring and summer of digital and multimedia promise? Above all else, Joe was a consummate family man, as well as being fiercely loyal to comrades and friends.

For his wife, Colette, and his grieving family, including children Colin, Danielle Amber,Thady and Georgina, we can only guess at the extent of the loss of a truly mercurial man. May he rest in peace.

Irish Independent

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