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Industry body Magazine Networks restructured as Pacific Mags, Bauer Media and NewsLifeMedia take control

Pacific Magazines, Bauer Media and NewsLifeMedia have collectively taken control of magazine industry body Magazine Networks in a restructure which will also see executive director Mary Ann Azer depart.

Azer joined Magazine Networks four years ago and has been working with the three publishers since then.

Mary Ann Azer

Azer joined Magazine Networks in May, 2014

Prior to joining Magazine Networks, Azer was a consultant. She has also had extensive industry experience at Proctor & Gamble, in roles across external relations, marketing and media.

Now, Pacific Magazines, Bauer Media and NewsLifeMedia will become a collective industry voice for advertising and marketing communities, the press and wider Australian public, the publishers said.

The board includes chairman and CEO of Pacific Magazines Gereurd Roberts, CEO of Bauer Media Paul Dykzeul, and Fiona Nilsson, director of food, at NewsLifeMedia.

Nilsson was recently appointed NewsLifeMedia’s representative for day to day management. She reports into Nicole Sheffield, chief digital officer at News Corp Australia, who is still involved closely with the board.

Magazine Networks began in 1995 and was known as The Association of Magazine Publishers of Australia (MPA). It represents Australian publishers of consumer, priced, nationally distributed magazines.

As a result of Azer’s departure, Magazine Networks will become the only traditional medium in Australia without a separate third-party body involved in its marketing.

Currently, television has four industry bodies – Free TV, ASTRA, Freeview and ThinkTV – newspapers have NewsMediaWorks, radio has Commercial Radio Australia and out of home has the Outdoor Media Association.

But Mumbrella understands the industry body’s day-to-day proceedings will remain unchanged. At this stage, sales, research and PR meetings will continue quarterly. Meanwhile, the three publishers will communicate directly with one another.

Azer said she had “thoroughly enjoyed” her time with the body, and was looking forward to her next challenge.

“After four great years, I will be leaving Magazine Networks – last day tomorrow. The publishers – Pacific, Bauer Media and NewsLifeMedia – have made the decision to take active control of and leadership of the body to push it forward in a unified manner, and I am excited about its ongoing growth,” Azer said.

Roberts – who was appointed as chair more than a year ago – said it was “incumbent” on the industry to take ownership of the body.

Gereurd Roberts

Pacific Magazines CEO Gereurd Roberts will continue as chairman, and will communicate directly with Dykzeul and Sheffield

“There has been amazing evolution and innovation across all of the Magazine Networks publishers over the past two years, and it is time for us to step up, take ownership and do a better job of communicating that. It is incumbent on us,” Roberts said.

“In that event we’ve made the decision to come together and take a more active, collaborative role in the future running and direction of Magazine Networks.

“I look forward to working more closely with Paul and Nicole as we tell the story of how, more than ever, our brands are leveraging their intimate relationships with audiences beyond the traditional printed form and ultimately offering trusted, targeted and contextually relevant environments for our partners.”

He also pointed to Azer’s hard work:  “We would also like to thank Mary Ann for her warmth, insight and passion during her time with Magazine Networks, and wish her well in her next chapter.”

Azer’s last day is Wednesday.

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