Clarke unveils News Corp restructure

Julian Clake

Julian Clake

New News Corp boss Julian Clarke has announced  changes which see the company unwind some of the centralisation instigated by his predecessor Kim Williams.

Under Williams, the company pushed to a philosophy of single management structures for each state. Since his sudden departure, this has led to criticisms that the new structure saw advertising revenue seep away. Under Williams, the company’s advertising sales strategy and marketing functions became much more centralised around its Sydney headquarters.

Today’s announcement – in an all staff email from Clarke – sees a change of emphasis back towards state teams selling advertising and more local marketing decisions. Most of the announcements focus on NSW and Victoria.

The move follows yesterday’s hints from Clarke that the company would be differentiating its products more, an instruction that was also given to editors shortly after Col Allan arrived from New York to provide an editorial lead.

In the message, Clarke said: “In the short time since my appointment I have been particularly impressed by the enormous amount of work that has been done to move our company forward, much of which I am eager to keep in place.

However, we do need to make some changes to the way we structure our east coast business units to ensure we grow by getting closer to our customers and their communities.

News Corp

The announcement:

From: Julian Clarke

Sent: Friday, 30 August 2013 1:49 PM

Subject: Changes to our commercial operations

Dear colleagues,

In the short time since my appointment I have been particularly impressed by the enormous amount of work that has been done to move our company forward, much of which I am eager to keep in place.

However, we do need to make some changes to the way we structure our east coast business units to ensure we grow by getting closer to our customers and their communities.

So today I announce we are changing our approach and re-establishing general managers of business units. For example, in Victoria we are appointing an executive general manager to run HWT and another executive general manager to run Leader and Geelong Advertiser. Similarly, advertising sales directors will be placed in each of the business units.

These business units will focus on their local markets and have clear accountabilities to ensure they serve their customers and grow their revenues.

We have appointed talented and experienced people to key positions as part of this restructure. I am therefore delighted to let you know that we have made the following appointments.

Victoria

· Peter Clark is appointed executive general manager Herald and Weekly Times. Peter will have commercial responsibility for the Herald Sun, Sunday Herald Sun, and The Weekly Times. Peter will report to Jerry Harris, executive group director, commercial and operations.

· Mark Gardy is appointed executive general manager Leader, Geelong Advertiser and local commercial development. In addition to his divisional responsibilities, Mark will ensure effective co-ordination between our community divisions around the country, and work with our group director of digital product and development Alisa Bowen to ensure we develop digital solutions appropriate for our local customers. Mark will report to Jerry.

· Peter Klages will continue in his role of general manager Geelong Advertiser, reporting to Mark.

New South Wales

· Brett Clegg is appointed executive general manager New South Wales with responsibility for the commercial performances of The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and NewsLocal community titles. Brett will report to Jerry.

· Michael Wilkins is appointed general manager NewsLocal and will report to Brett.

Queensland

· Jason Scott is appointed executive general manager, The Courier-Mail, The Sunday Mail and Gold Coast Bulletin. Jason will report to Jerry.

· Paul Eteen-Bliss is appointed general manager Quest Community Newspapers. Paul will report to Jerry.

· Nick Trompf is appointed executive general manager North Queensland, responsible for The Cairns Post and Townsville Bulletin, as well as our community newspapers in the region. Nick will report to Jerry.

· Sue Willis will continue in her role as the general manager of the Townsville Bulletin, reporting to Nick.

· Bryan Oram will continue in his role as general manager Gold Coast Bulletin. Bryan will report to Jason.

South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania

We will not make any changes to our operations in these geographies. Ish Davies, Michelle d’Almeida, Scott James and Rex Gardner will continue in their current roles, all reporting to Jerry.

The Australian, NewsLifeMedia and mX

We are not making any changes to the commercial team at The Australian with Nicholas Gray continuing as CEO.

NewsLifeMedia’s management structure will stay the same with Nicole Sheffield continuing in her current role.

Our mX management structure will also remain the same with Fiona Mellor continuing in her current role, reporting to Jerry.

Sales

We will be appointing a general manager for advertising sales to each business unit to drive new sales teams and their local revenues. We will continue to have a national sales team to sell to national advertisers.

Marketing

While we will maintain a strong national marketing function, we will also rebalance marketing investment to the individual business units to ensure marketing focus on local markets in order to drive local revenues.

On-going initiatives

We will also continue with the great work already in train which is so important to the growth of our business including:

· the on-going roll-out of Eidos Methode and restructure of our newsrooms to deliver multi-channel journalism across seven days and over 24 hours; and collaboration within our news network;

· the shared services model across key functions such as finance, technology and people and culture;

· the national approach to our production and logistics operations;

· the integration of some key FOX SPORTS products, such as including foxsports.com.au as part our digital subscription offer and the launch of Sports Central for advertising customers;

· the development of advertising sales capabilities that allow us to package our large audiences across different platforms;

· the building of national brands, and a national capability in subscription marketing that has been a key part of our launch into digital subscriptions; and

· the creation of a national sales team servicing newsagents, supermarkets and convenience outlets.

I congratulate the teams that have managed such large scale change so successfully.

We will also continue to invest in digital and our digital product teams. As I announced on Monday, the digital technology team under Craige Pendleton-Brown will now report on an interim basis through to Alisa Bowen. Les Wigan and his team will also report to Alisa.

The new business unit structure will take place from 2 September. We will implement the advertising sales and marketing changes in these new business units by the end of September.

I know that there is a lot to absorb in this message. If you have any questions please send them to questions@news.com.au

We will keep you updated on changes in coming weeks.

Thank you in advance for your continued hard work and focus as these changes are implemented over the coming weeks.

Regards,

Julian

Comments


  1. Interesting
    31 Aug 13
    8:57 am

  2. A little too late for these changes…..advertisers jumped 12-18 months ago.

  3. Supporter
    31 Aug 13
    7:14 pm

  4. Not enough localisation. Every one of those products needs ownership. And somd of the people on ivory towers are simply not ecperienced enough.

  5. Teejay
    2 Sep 13
    8:43 pm

  6. @Interesting; stand by for even more rate slashing to try to buy business back. If they go any lower under cost prices in some suburban markets, they might as well close the newspapers and hand out money to local businesses – it’d be cheaper.

  7. What a Joke
    9 Sep 13
    2:26 pm

  8. Back and forth this company…never moving forward.