MCN rebrands and reveals revamped leadership team

Multi-Channel Network has unveiled its new executive team, a major overhaul of its positioning and a revamped visual identity.

At a press briefing in Sydney yesterday, new MCN CEO Mark Frain unveiled new signage for the brand and a move towards putting customers at its heart. Frain also named Nick Young, Suzie Blinman, Nev Hasan and Naomi Edney as the four members of his executive team.

The new MCN visual identity

All four executives are long-standing employees of MCN and will report directly into Frain. Young, who was previously national sales director has become chief sales officer, while chief commercial and corporate development officer Blinman has been named chief customer and commercial officer.

Hasan, who was previously national digital sales director, has been appointed as head of the new advanced advertising team. Edney will take on a role as director of the new centralised trading group.

At the same time, Angela Goodsir, chief technology officer, will leave the business along with Shae Bonney, MCN’s national director for direct and independent agencies, Paul MacGregor, national director for multiply, marketing and client solutions, and Melina Augoustakis, Melbourne sales director.

It follows the announcement two weeks ago of MCN’s pivot towards a customer-centric model, which will operate out of four divisions: an advanced advertising team, a brand partnerships group and an integrated TV and digital agency sales group along with an internal centralised trading group. Currently, MCN represents 71 subscription television channel brands through Foxtel, 117 digital publishers as well as Foxtel Go, and 31 digital-out-of-home television screens.

Until the official split of MCN and Ten, the sales business is a joint venture between the CBS owned-broadcaster, which owns 24.99% and News Corp’s Foxtel and Fox Sports.

The new structure will be focused more on building an advertising experience that goes from television to consumption and purchase. It will also have a ‘Foxtel-first’ approach.

“Foxtel first – where that name or mission has come from – is that we did a lot of work a few years ago now that highlighted just from a media buying and planning perspective, buying Foxtel first was the most efficient way to buy television,” Frain said.

“It certainly leans back to some of that language moving forward. Our view of the future and Foxtel is the core television part of our business is I believe the launch pad for many of the other assets and screens we represent comes from television.”

Frain told Mumbrella it was a combination of the ‘disengagement’ with Ten and his appointment that led to the complete overhaul of the MCN business.

“If we look at where MCN has been historically – the last four or five years we’ve had a real strong purpose around technology and what we’ve looked at now is there’s an opportunity to restructure with the news of Ten departing, and to work harder to pull content out of our channel partners to get it to the market more often, in more impactful ways, and whilst not forgetting the technology, innovation and the smarts that sit behind MCN,” he said.

“It’s the content that makes us successful and its the technology that allows us to do it faster and more efficiently. It was a blend of all those reasons – the timing was perfect to relaunch the MCN brand.”

The new MCN brand moves away from the Din font, blue and teal colours of previous years. MCN’s new brand font is Montserrat and it now features a range of colours including pink, yellow, orange and purple. The ‘C’ has the figure of a person within it, to promote the ‘people’ focus. It was designed by Joy.

The old visual identity

MCN’s new head of marketing and communications, Sarah Tucker, said the new brand was centred around “premium connections.”

“The new MCN is a place where ambitious brands and people come to grow,” Tucker said.

“Developed by the team at JOY agency, our new look and feel represents the way MCN will act moving forward – energetic, bold, friendly and colourful. We literally flipped our logo on its head and this kind of out of the box thinking is exactly what you can expect from MCN moving forward.”

Frain said there was no pointing rebranding without changing the business

Frain said he had received a lot of counsel around the rebrand and restructure.

“You can rebrand and you can change the logo and do nothing and it is so transparent that you haven’t changed,” he said

“The reason why we are so confident and backing the rebrand is we’ve genuinely transformed and changed the structure of the MCN business.

“I did see quite a bit of counsel about this on the way through – you need to rebrand and reshape MCN, but you’ve to do it internally otherwise it is just – lipstick on a pig is the wrong expression – but it’s that. It’s just a badge. You haven’t done anything different. If you do genuinely drive change internally then that’s the opportunity and we’ve probably achieved more in the last 11-12 weeks than I anticipated.”

Frain added time in his new role and more specifically the disengagement with Ten had taught him the power of putting people first and communicating well.

“The good communication to staff, our agencies, advertisers and channel partners. We’ve had a lot of feedback from all partners that the level and depth of the MCN communication has been brilliant and really helped keep them informed and now we’ve started like that, it’s certainly our focus to keep going,” he said.

Despite the uncertainty that has circulated MCN the last six months, Frain is optimistic about the new year. He hopes MCN will be perceived as “fast, progressive and “delivering”.

“If we deliver that, we are going to have a great year. The structure allows us to be fast, the structure allows us to be progressive and with the centralised trading piece behind that allows us to deliver better than ever.”


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