OPINION: QUESTION TIME WITH ... TOM TOUMAZIS - Emap’s sales jungle has a brand new king - and he’s got bite, says Jonah Bloom

Emap’s new director of UK ad sales, Tom Toumazis, is already feeling the pace.

Emap’s new director of UK ad sales, Tom Toumazis, is already

feeling the pace.

He spent the whole of last Monday presenting the company’s new

’cross-sell’ vision to investors, analysts and staff and he doesn’t mind

admitting it was a pretty shattering experience. ’After five hours on my

feet, my legs were starting to tire - if I’d had my football socks on

I’d have pushed them down,’ he quips.

But it’ll take more than a little fatigue to stop Toumazis now - he’s on

a roll. His 16-year career has seen him rise from the junior sales ranks

of LWT to become head of sales at TVMM, then managing director of

Eurosport UK, and most recently managing director of Emap’s radio sales

division, Emap On Air.

His new post, atop the whole of Emap’s sales operation across all four

divisions, makes him one of the most powerful players in the media sales


Given that Emap is still largely a magazine company (almost pounds 500

million of the pounds 548 million revenue in the first half of 1999 came

from the magazine divisions), you could argue that it is odd to appoint

a radio and TV man to head the company’s sales operation.

Yet there seems to be general consensus about the wisdom of Toumazis’s


Emap Metro’s commercial director Steve Newbold, who now reports to

Toumazis, says: ’He has a phenomenal track record for getting people to

go beyond the basic sell. He is very well known across the whole company

- everyone here at Metro knows his face - and he seems to inspire

respect from the staff.’

Newbold’s appraisal is typical, although others add - off the record -

that he is also ’great at banging heads together’.

Toumazis himself is unfazed by the thought of working in magazines. ’I

have a very good insight into Emap and its brands. Of course, there are

things I don’t know about magazines but I will be working with very good

people, and I am a very fast learner. For two years now I’ve been

meeting the directors of the magazine companies to discuss how we can

work more closely together, and we have started to put that into

practice since June.’

In fact, it was Toumazis and a handful of the other directors who came

up with the idea of a new sales structure which would allow more

’creative media solutions’ and more selling across the board.

’Clients and agencies have been frustrated by having to speak to five or

six people in Emap’s different divisions in order to buy across the

different media,’ explains Toumazis. ’So we put a recommendation to

Emap’s senior management that we should look at a restructure, and they


And when those senior managers started their search for candidates to

lead that restructure, Toumazis put himself forward.

He is believed to have been selected ahead of a couple of formidable

external candidates, including one media agency managing director.

But just because Toumazis is an Emap insider doesn’t mean he will be

treading on egg-shells. He is determined to find a way of selling

effectively across the four Emap portfolios, and you get the distinct

impression that it would be unwise to stand in his way.

Toumazis on home life

’I’m a self-confessed family man,’ says Toumazis, who is of Greek

Cypriot descent. He has been with his wife Helen for 19 years, and they

have three children. He loves movies and golf. His parents used to own a

restaurant, and he reckons about half the media world have sampled their


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