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