WIN sales staff to be employed by Nine Entertainment Co

Nine Entertainment Co and its regional affiliate, WIN Corporation will be integrating its two sales teams into the one sales team, with the WIN staff becoming Nine Entertainment Co staff, effective as of 1 July 2022.

While a singular sales team was flagged at the Nine 2022 Upfronts, it was not stated that the staff would be moving to new employment. Nine previously stated that it would be “integrating the WIN national sales team into its sales structure,” off the back of the switch to WIN as its regional affiliate in March, replacing Southern Cross Austereo.

Speaking on the Unmade podcast Nine chief sales officer, Michael Stephenson said: “So, stage two, which will happen on the 1st of July… is that all of the WIN team will become Nine employees. So they are part of the Nine team. And Nine will be responsible for representing Nine’s assets in regional Australia into the market. So that is complete integration.”

The integrated team is designed to give advertising partners one point of contact to buy Nine’s regional and metro audiences in Australia as the network continues to push it’s “total television” strategy.

“The future of television is total television,” Stephenson said ahead of the upfronts.

“Total TV is bought by TV buyers to maximise reach and build awareness at the top of the marketing funnel, and 9Now is bought by digital buyers to increase consideration and conversion using our first-party data in the middle and bottom of the marketing funnel,” Stephenson added.

In a note to staff at the time of the announcement, Nine’s former CEO Hugh Marks, who has now been replaced by Mike Sneesby, acknowledged that: “One of the impacts of the change in affiliate partner will be an impact to our regional news services which we currently provide on behalf of SCA.

“We are aware that there will be some roles impacted as a result of this change but those impacted can be assured that Director of News and Current Affairs Darren Wick and his team are actively looking at options for redeployment for as many employees as possible.

“Under the changes WIN will do its local news bulletin in regional areas at 5.30pm before taking the 6pm state bulletin in each state. WIN will also take over sales representation for NBN from SCA.”

While WIN sales staff are being absorbed by Nine, Seven is set to acquire all of WIN’s rival regional media provider, Prime Media.

Seven first attempted to buy the regional media group in 2019, but the acquisition was blocked. However, in the announcement, the Prime Media Group board indicated the bid had its support. The deal is expected to be voted on by Prime shareholders in December.

Last month, chairman of Prime Media Group, Ian McGill, resigned from his post after eight months in the role. Non-executive director of the company, Cass O’Connor was named his replacement.


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