News Corp reshuffles sales structure with promotion for Lou Barrett

News Corp has announced staffing changes to its leadership team across the metro, regional and community publishing arms of its business a month after revealing falling revenues and “continued headwinds in print advertising”.

The reshuffle will see sales veteran Lou Barrett promoted to the role of executive general manager, network sales.

The move as the company attempts to streamline its sales operations, bring “national consistency” to its operating model and provide a “more aligned leadership structure” across its publishing assets, an email to staff explained.

Lou Barrett to take on a new role at News Corp

“As a business, it is important we continue to review and assess how we work, and identify the opportunities, talent and expertise to help reshape our business for the future,” Michael Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australia said.

“In this role, Lou will have responsibility for all network sales, revenue, partnerships, key accounts and agency sales,” Miller said of the appointment.

Barrett joined News Corp last year as executive general manager of network partnerships and previously held a number of senior sales roles in media, including chief sales officer and then executive general manager at Network Ten, former director of sales at ACP Magazines and director of Nine Entertainment Co’s cross-media division.

Ash Sheard, who has been acting in the role of EGM network sales for the past six months will return to his previous role of general manager, network sales, Victoria.

Fiona Mellor, previously GM of Leader newspapers, will take on a new role as executive GM for real estate and news community media. The national role will see Mellor take on responsibility for implementing News Corp’s real estate strategy across its publishing assets. The role will also involve working closely with REA Group to “identify and implement further integration opportunities”, Miller said.

Barrett’s and Mellor’s appointments are effective immediately, with both reporting to Damian Eales, managing director of metro and regional publishing. A replacement for Mellor will be announced shortly.

In addition, Emma Fawcett, GM of NewsXtend will join Eales’ leadership team and the board of HiPages.

“Under Emma’s leadership, NewsXtend has grown its revnue by almost 100% and the average customer spend has grown by 20%. Emma will continue to lead the ramp-up of the NewsXtend through local sales teams, and she will work closely with Nicole Sheffield, managing director News DNA to maximise our digital assets,” Miller’s email said.

Miller also paid homage to Michelle D’Almeida who has been with News Corp for 21 years, most recently as managing director of the group’s Perth business.

He said with the sale of The Sunday Times to Seven West Media now finalised, and the handover work complete, “Michelle has decided to take some well-deserved time out for personal reasons”. D’Almedia will remain on the board of Community Newspaper Group, WA.

“Michelle has been a stellar member of the News Corp family, having held a number of senior positions both here and overseas. I am grateful for her hard work and leadership and I wish her every success for the future,” Miller concluded.


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