My Media Week: Dominic Carter, News UK

Dominic Carter, chief commercial officer at News UK, shares his plans for creative use of radio following the Wireless Group acquisition and hears long-time friend Claudine Collins' wedding plans.

My Media Week: Dominic Carter, News UK

Monday

On my way into the office I find myself thinking about the business for the week. I’m about to clock my 800th mile in 48 hours after a weekend of running up and down the country. I’m tired but things are looking good. The Sun's digital audience has been growing and The Times’ circulation goes from strength to strength.

After a couple of early internal meetings, I have a gap and an opportunity to make some phone calls and send some emails – these are some of the best bits of my day, interaction with the people that spend money with us and getting to understand where the areas are that we haven’t yet developed or thought about. Thanks for the tips!

Cannes Advertising Festival is approaching and we are still planning our series of amazing speaker and entertainment events for the week. We’ve got a great line-up of talent including a global music phenomenon – you’re going to have to be there. How much?? I don’t want to know.

Next a one-hour session with Scott Taunton, chief executive of Wireless Group – owners of talkSPORT, Virgin Radio and talkRADIO – one of our recent acquisitions. We were inspired by the business of radio and the ability for more creativity. We’re already working on several advertiser initiatives that bring together the power of audience reach – roll on World Cup 2018 and combining all our sport credentials across The Sun, The Times and talkSPORT.

I’m home by 8pm to be greeted by an empty house as the family are away. Get some food, watch the MotoGP and I’m in bed by 10pm.

Tuesday

We have 50 clients coming in for a breakfast presentation with Lorraine Candy, the new editor of Style magazine. Lorraine is fantastic; she is so very clear where she is going to take the magazine. It generates a lot of discussion and I think I managed to win some new business from a heritage brand that’s about to expand its range.

Next meeting is for me and Mark Field (director of Bridge Studios) to update the team on the Carat – Open for Business event last week. It was a great initiative, hosted by Rick and the team at Carat and Amplifi; it’s great to see the agency opening up with a clear agenda for change and how they want to work with media owners.

Hurrah! Some respite from meetings. I get some work done before I meet a consultant that wants to pitch me on how they can make our business even better. They ask a lot of questions, they tell me what I just told them and bloody hell they’re good…apart from the fact that they just told me what I told them – an hour wasted but a nice chat.

Off to the gym.

Wednesday

8.30am meeting going through weekly performance as a senior management team – circulation, print and digital performance all above target.

Cross-department presentation straight after. We get to hear from the analytics team about all the insight we have on our highly engaged, more valuable audiences; it’s really interesting for the wider group to see how we can use this more effectively for advertisers.

Off to Newsworks for my final meeting of the day with my peers from other news brands to discuss the rollout of PATS. All agencies except one are now using the system either in a test phase or fully adopted. As a much more efficient system it can only be a matter of time before it becomes the only way that we accept bookings.

I get home early to have a laugh with my kids – family time doesn’t happen often enough.

Thursday

I begin the day with a tour of Unruly’s new office. It’s a great space –  ping pong tables, giant chess set, hidden meeting rooms and a bouldering wall. An energetic and enthusiastic team led by Sarah Wood. Sarah and I then host about 70 people from News UK, Dow Jones, Wireless Group, Storyful and Unruly to talk about the importance of collaboration across the group. We have an amazing opportunity to utilise the insights from all of our brands, to create some incredible opportunities for our clients and agencies.

A few more meetings before I meet up with a couple of my peers to discuss how we tackle the issues of OMP and fake news, faux sites and all the other challenges in the digital space. We formulate a plan, we agree in so many areas and it’s good to see that collectively we can come together – we all believe that the authority and credibility of professionally, curated journalism has never been more important than it is right now.

A trip into town, it’s Thursday night after all. I meet up with Claudine from MediaCom for a quick drink. Claude and I go back more years than either of us want to remember but I wanted to celebrate her engagement and being nosey, wanted to take a look at her engagement ring. I kept my sunglasses on!

We laughed a bit, talked about the wedding plans and thankfully we didn’t talk about work for more than 2 minutes which was just as well because we then headed off to Daren Rubin’s leaving drinks. After some time….I couldn’t remember much from this morning.

Friday

Last day before a week off.  I start the day up The Shard – and no, that’s not a euphemism. Breakfast with an advertiser to discuss the state of their market, they’re doing really well and they are inspiring as they talk about the re-engineering of their business. We have a few areas to work on to develop a new partnership as well as an immersion meeting to set up for the head of media. Another excellent start to the day.

I haven’t sat down with my brilliant EA all week…that’s really poor of me and sorry Lucy, but thank you for being immensely patient.

Various meetings throughout the day ranging from creating TV programmes and licensing arrangements through to next steps on a couple of client follow up meetings and the most exciting one of the day…wait for it, a cost transformation meeting. I just nod and say I’m sure that’ll work and yes, I promise to buy more expensive wine next time I go out with Claudine.

Finish the day and the week, pretty much as I started, discussing Cannes. How much fun can one person have in a week? Come to Cannes and find out…

Lowdown

Age: as young as you feel
Media: professional and curated 
Inspiration: my team
Dream job: am I really dreaming?
One thing you didn’t know about me: I was born in Redcar