Between the Lines: News Group rethinks sales

Two conclusions can be drawn from News Group's move to separate its sales teams for The Sun and the News of the World (page 2). First, that News Group's managing director, Mike Anderson, and commercial director, Mike Gordon, both relatively new to their jobs, aren't wasting any time in making changes.

Second, that News Group is responding to a difficult retail ad market, in the doldrums on the back of poor high-street sales.

In recent years, The Sun has been such a strong market-leader that News Group has been able to sit back and count the revenue coming in, adding on space in the News of the World almost as an afterthought. But times have changed and News Group is in a dogfight for revenue in its key advertising markets.

So the move to split the sales teams seems a smart one, ensuring healthy internal competition and enabling both teams to get out and pitch their case more aggressively. However, long-term decline in red-top circulations is a more pressing issue to manage, whatever the make-up of News Group's sales operation.