News UK is bringing its print and digital teams together in a move designed to shift the commercial publishing strategy towards one that is brand-focused rather than platform-led. It’s the first major change to the company’s commercial division since it re-launched as The Bridge three years ago.
Two new senior roles have been created as a result of the changes. Ben Walmsley, previously digital commercial director of The Bridge, will step into the newly created role of commercial director of publishing, expanding his remit to include News UK’s print propositions. Walmsley’s team will include Owen Griffiths and Caroline Tredget, sales directors of The Sun and The Times respectively, who have expanded their roles to lead combined print and digital teams under their brands.
The second new role is the head of a new Strategic Development Team which will work across the business to create consistency and clarity in News UK’s commercial proposition to advertisers. Louise Crosby, currently digital sales director for The Bridge, takes on this role. Oliver Williams, now head of commercial product, is also expanding his remit, working in partnership with Crosby to determine and own product direction and delivery as part of the new Strategic Development Team. Both Crosby and Williams will report to Ben Walmsley.
“A little under three years ago we set out to change the structure of the commercial side of the business and launched The Bridge with a vision to connect brands with our engaged audiences,” said Dominic Carter, group chief commercial officer for News UK. “Since then, our work is winning more awards and we have realised our ambition to bring together the company’s data, creativity and insight resources. Today we’re more than a trusted news brand; we’re a multi-platform media, technology and data business, that when put together, can offer advertisers something that is greater than the sum of its parts.”