Media giant Nine has moved to align its newly combined sales structure with Fairfax following the merger.
Under the new integrated sales structure, Nine will co-locate all of the 500-plus sales staff from Nine and Fairfax into its Nine sales offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. This process is expected to be completed by early January.
Nine’s chief sales officer, Michael Stephenson (pictured above), said: “Today marks an important milestone in the history of Australian media.
“The merger creates a media business for the future and the opportunity to provide a fully integrated sales offering across television, video on demand, digital publishing and print, all supported by Australia’s richest data proposition.
“The move will significantly enhance our ability to offer more diverse audiences across new channels and create more powerful marketing solutions around our content that work from the top to the bottom of the marketing funnel – something which will be unique to Nine.”
Nine has also announced two important new sales roles within the merged business.
Pippa Leary has been promoted to the newly created role of director of sales strategy and product commercialisation. Leary will be responsible for commercial strategy and the monetisation of Nine’s digital and publishing assets.
In addition, she will continue to develop Nine’s programmatic sales solutions, and take responsibility for the commercialisation of the combined group’s unique data asset.
“We have a fantastic opportunity based on our suite of high-growth assets and our unique data proposition to create market-leading advertising solutions for our advertisers,” Stephenson said.
“There no is no one better in Australia than Pippa Leary to enable us to do that.”
Nine also announced that Matt Rowley has been appointed to the newly created role of director of sales for publishing.
Rowley will have revenue responsibility for all of Nine’s digital assets – nine.com.au, 9Honey, 9Now, smh.com.au, theage.com.au, afr.com.au, brisbanetimes.com.au and watoday.com.au – as well as the major metro titles The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review.
“Matt’s wealth of experience across both client and agency side, in Australia and abroad, together with his understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing Australian marketers, makes him the perfect person to lead our publishing sales teams in-market,” Stephenson said.
Lizzie Young will continue as Nine’s group content strategy director, and will lead a fully integrated ‘Powered’ team in the merged business from day one.
Powered will include a client strategy, insights and effectiveness team alongside content partnerships, client experience and commercial creative studio, all fully integrated and ready to work across the expanded suite of assets.
Young said: “Powered provides access for brands to Australia’s leading content creators across the broadest and most effective media platform in the country.
“Our ability to create big ideas based around the connection of brands to culture through this content is unrivalled, and we know these partnerships drive true business results.”
Stephenson said Leary and Rowley will work alongside director of TV sales Richard Hunwick and director of sales operations Warwick Sharp to form the new Nine sales leadership team supported by Powered.
“We now have the greatest media assets in the country, the best content, the best data product and the best technology,” he said.
“But the most important asset we have are the people who work at Nine across all parts of our business to meet the evolving needs of our partners.
“Pippa, Matt, Lizzie, Rich and Warwick are all exceptional media professionals and great leaders, and I can’t wait to begin the next part of our journey as a team.”
The announcement comes after Nine warned in October that media sales teams would be in the firing line as a result of the merger with Fairfax.
The newly combined company expects to realise approximately $15 million in savings from removing duplication across sales teams, as well as commercial operations.