News International has radically restructured its operations to
give its newspaper businesses direct control of their own new-media
development and its digital arm, News Network, an incubator-style role
within the company.
News Media Group will handle all on- and offline development of The Sun
and the News of the World as well as FootballFC.com and Page3.com. The
Times Media Group adds responsibility for the online versions of The
Sunday Times and The Times to that of the print titles.
All four newspaper websites are undergoing major overhauls and are set
to be relaunched in early autumn. New features include video streaming
and WAP news services.
Susan Boster, the chief commerce and marketing officer at News Network,
said: ’The best way to get products to market quickly is to develop them
in a greenhouse and then integrate it with your business. This is what
we’re doing with the papers, giving them control of their sites.’
These developments leave News Network free to focus on the strategy and
direction of digital activity, including new investments and the
incubation and initial development of pure play internet projects within
News International itself.
Next month News Network launches its latest standalone internet
development - the recruitment website Revolver. The group is also
planning to launch a wireless group which will look into hand-held
devices and mobile development.
’News Network is a business accelerator and its role is to spot the
trends and provide the strategy,’ Boster said. ’A group of idea
generators will build businesses like Firedup and Revolver.’
Underpinning all of the businesses within News International is a new
customer focused division, NI Connect, to be headed by Chris Lloyd, who
was formerly the chief operating officer of News Network.
The unit will look at improving customer relationships online and over