The print and digital teams will come together in a move designed to shift the commercial publishing strategy towards one that is brand-focused rather than platform-led.
This is the first set of changes News UK has made to its commercial division since it re-launched as The Bridge three years ago.
Two new senior roles have been created as a result of the changes. Ben Walmsley, previously digital commercial director of The Bridge, will step into the newly created commercial director of publishing role – expanding his remit to include News UK’s print propositions. Ben’s team will include Owen Griffiths and Caroline Tredget, sales directors of The Sun and The Times respectively, who have expanded their roles to lead combined print and digital teams under their brands.
The second new role is the head of a new strategic development team, which will work across the business to create consistency and clarity in News UK’s commercial proposition to advertisers. Louise Crosby, currently digital sales director for The Bridge, takes on this role. Oliver Williams, now head of commercial product, is also expanding his remit – working in partnership with Crosby to determine and own product direction and delivery as part of the new strategic development team. Both Williams and Crosby report to Walmsley.
Dominic Carter, group chief commercial officer for News UK, commented: “I am immensely proud of the team and what we have achieved to date. A little under three years ago we set out to change the structure of the commercial side of the business and launched The Bridge with a vision to connect brands with our engaged audiences. Since then our work is winning more awards and we have realised our ambition to bring together the company’s data, creativity and insight resources. Today we’re more than a trusted newsbrand; we’re a multi-platform media, technology and data business, that when put together, can offer advertisers something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
“Ben Walmsley has been a key member of the team who has helped us deliver against our digital ambitions and he will continue to build a formidable publishing team in his new role. The changes announced today ensure we are future proofing the business so that we continue to deliver more than just reach to advertisers – we deliver real audience engagement through The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, talkRADIO, talkSPORT, Virgin Radio UK, Unruly and Storyful.”