Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell has folded the ad sales department of OK! magazine into that of Express Newspapers in a sweeping restructure that ends months of speculation over the future shape of the organisation.
The changes have resulted in the departure of Mark Milner, the head of display advertising, who joined the Daily Express from the Daily Mail in 1998. Milner follows the group sales director, Richard Bogie, and managing director, Andy Jonesco, who left in December last year. Express Newspapers' commercial director, Paul Woolfenden, whose marketing role has been much reduced under Desmond, is also believed to be leaving the company.
Express Newspapers' group managing director, Stan Myerson, has appointed four new ad controllers, splitting responsibility for the Express newspaper titles from the Sunday Express and Daily Express magazines. The magazines will be managed as a group by Myerson's wife, Renee, who is also OK!'s ad controller.
The other three ad controller positions are filled through the promotion of staff from the Hollick era. Jeremy Slattery, previously the ad manager for the Sunday and Daily Express magazines, becomes ad controller of group agency sales and will take responsibility for external agency representation across the newspaper titles.
The Daily Star's ad manager, Chris Marston, is promoted to ad controller, while Mark Hopkins, ad manager for the Daily and Sunday Express, becomes ad controller for those titles. Hopkins will take on an additional role negotiating group contracts. All four will report to Myerson.
A new regional sales team is to be formed under group head Richard Hillgrove, previously senior sales executive for magazines, and former OK! magazine sales executive James Dallow. The Express's Manchester-based regional sales operation was a casualty of the wave of cutbacks made by Northern & Shell in December.