Editor of The Star James Mitchinson paid tribute to the “excellence, determination and hard work” of those who were shortlisted.
He added: “It gives me enormous pleasure to be able to open this event, where your teams are duly recognised. Even if you are not one of the overall winners, I’d like to think that every business leader in the room will take this opportunity to say thank you to your people. Our people are what make our companies great.
“And please indulge me as I take the lead: this year The Star was adjudged Best Regional Daily Newspaper in Yorkshire and Humberside at the O2 Media Awards, knocking the likes of The Yorkshire Post and Hull Daily Mail into a cocked hat!
“That award is one of the most coveted in the calendar, and now – officially at least – I am an award-winning daily editor. But I’m not the one that deserves the credit; the real award-winners are my teams who start at 6am, and knock off at 11pm - day in day out, seven days a week, to ensure you get an unrivalled multi-media service, and now that’s official!
“Yesterday, in just one day, 160,000 people came to The Star’s website, reading 300,000 articles. One article alone reached a quarter of a million people’s Facebook news feeds via The Star’s social channel. 60,000 people will have read the paper across the city.
“Last week, 1.6m visitors came to our website. 120,000 newspapers were sold. That means I’ve now achieved what I set out to do two years ago: make YOUR Star the most read media publisher in Johnston Press.
“Make no mistake about it, we are entertaining, informing and influencing more people in this city than ever before. I’d urge you not to underestimate how powerful your presence in this competition could be for your company tonight.
“So, tonight is not just an excuse to get dolled up and have a party. Tonight could be one of the most important nights of your life.”