NewsLifeMedia restructures sales team with focus on growing digital native ad revenues

Nicole Sheffield

Nicole Sheffield

NewsLifeMedia’s CEO has said it is a “myth” clients want a single sales contact at media owners amid a shakeup of its sales operation announced today giving clients more access to content experts.

Nicole Sheffield described the restructure, which sees the company’s group sales and commercial integration teams merge to form a specialist content sales network, as a “big departure from traditional sales models”.

Speaking to Mumbrella Sheffield said: “The way I look at our business and how much it’s grown, we’ve moved from being a print business to a multi-platform business and 30 to 65 per cent of my revenue is really derived from digital and that revenue is increasingly coming from native or the content creation space.

“What we’re doing is we’re creating content that often won’t just sit on our websites but will sit on owned and earned media of our clients. Whether its recipe production for our food clients or whether its branded content that our clients want, GQ does a lot of it in the men’s space.”

The new team will remain under the leadership of commercial director Sev Celik.

Sheffield said the changes enable the company’s clients to access expertise across the company’s  categories such as food and family, premium living and style.

“When I looked at our business and where we are today and the sorts of conversations we were having with clients was really around having that category expertise as opposed to necessarily having those transactional relationships that media has been known to have in the past. Because of that more and more clients and agents were calling on our experts,” Sheffield said.

NewsLifeMedia logo“There’s a myth out there that they want one contact. They might want one contact for the transaction but what they want is to meet the experts who understands the category well and not just come up with a marketing campaign and a program of content and how you label that is very much dependent on the client.”

Sheffield said the move is a first in the industry saying she doesn’t see anyone that has aligned their sales force with specific products.

“Editorially people may be categorised that way and maybe from a marketing point of view,” she added. “It’s a big departure from traditional sales models.

“When you look at what the majority of people are doing they’re still looking at their rep being an agency rep as opposed to saying that’s a category rep. Agencies still have senior contacts within our organisation.”

Sheffield said the shift reflects what clients are after, with more and more clients not just wanting a marketing plan.

“Clients come to us wanting to know how to engage a customer base, a new demographic – they come to us with their problem and how we assist with that. Some of our clients end up spending more in our events where it’s Vogue’s Fashion Night Out or GQ Man of the Year,” she said.

“More and more the silos that people put media in are fragmenting and it’s more about the consumers they want to target and what the best way to do that is.”

NewsLifeMedia commercial director Sev Celik said in a statement: “This specialised sales approach is the way forward to best meet the needs of our industry, simplifying the process for agencies and clients and providing the right experts in the room for any discussion. I’m delighted to announce key content leads today.”

The new appointments are:

  • Paul Blackburn – Director of Sales and Strategy, NewsLifeMedia
  • Nicole Bence – Sales and Strategy Director, Food and Family:, Super Food Ideas,, and
  • Milena Hopkins – Sales and Strategy Director, Premium Living: Vogue Living, Inside Out, Country Style,, delicious. and donna hay
  • Nicole Waudby – Sales and Strategy Director, Style: Vogue Australia, GQ Australia and

All key accounts remain with News Corp Australia.

Miranda Ward





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