News International merges digital sales operations

LONDON - News International has merged its digital sales teams in a similar way to its print operations, making two key promotions in a division that will now trade across its red-top and quality newspaper brands.

Martin Corke: promoted to head of digital advertising strategy
Martin Corke: promoted to head of digital advertising strategy

About 10 roles have been made redundant and the merged team will comprise between 50 and 60 people. Affected employees are currently going through a period of consultation.

News Group head of digital sales Martin Corke has been promoted to the role of head of digital advertising strategy. He will report to the newly appointed director of digital trading Alex Hole, who takes up his role next week.

The team will sell across, and
Corke, who joined News International from Associated Newspapers in February, believes the merger will offer clients a simpler structure.

"The sales people will now be more focused on selling," he said. "But there will be fewer carrying out day-to-day trading."

The group has also promoted Times Media digital advertising manager Hamish White to head of digital trading, also reporting to Hole.

The merged digital sales team, which now sits alongside News International's newspaper commercial operation, is effectively split into two, encompassing a day-to-day trading team and a sponsorship and advertising partnership team.

Paul Hayes, News International managing director, commercial, said the appointments will offer "leaner services to our customers across our digital business".

The combining of the digital operations follows News International's unification of its newspaper sales operations, which is thought to have led to the company shedding 100 of its 450 commercial staff.

News International took the radical step to offer advertisers a one-stop shop, with the sales operation running across the diverse audiences of its red-top and quality newspaper brands.

The move led to the promotion of Dominic Carter, previously Times Media trading director, to News International trading director, reporting to Hayes, who was also promoted following the restructure.