Following the move of Chris Duncan to the new role of MD, Platform Partnerships, News UK, The Economist Chief Operating Officer and Publisher Michael Brunt is appointed to the new role of General Manager, Times Newspapers Limited. At the same time, Jo Bucci, currently Chief Operating Officer of News UK’s audio business Wireless, is appointed to the new role of General Manager, The Sun.
Reporting to News UK Chief Operating Officer David Dinsmore, Michael and Jo will take overall responsibility for the financial performance of The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun, setting and implementing brand strategies for long-term cross-platform growth.
David Dinsmore said: “The Times and The Sunday Times are the world’s best-known quality newspapers, with over half a million subscribers, while The Sun is the UK’s best-selling daily newspaper and number one online newspaper brand.
“These new General Manager roles will be hugely influential in driving our strategy to grow and monetise the millions of people who engage with our newsbrands daily. Michael and Jo both have a proven track record of building and monetising powerful media brands across platforms.”
Michael joined the Economist Group in 2006 and has since held a number of senior roles in marketing and circulation, including Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director of Circulation. In his current role, he manages the Group’s circulation, sales, marketing solutions, events and analytics divisions.
During her time at Wireless, Jo has been a pivotal force in the successful integration of the radio businesses into News UK - including Virgin Radio UK, talkSPORT and talkRADIO. Prior to Wireless, Jo was Managing Director of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Deputy Chief Executive of Leicester City Football Club and Group Managing Director of Capital Radio Group.
At the same time, Wireless Managing Director, Commercial Development, Calum Macaulay, will take the new role of General Manager, Wireless, reporting to Wireless CEO Scott Taunton.
Calum has worked across a number of senior roles within Wireless over the last 20 years, and most recently has been leading the development of non-traditional revenues including a series of live events with sports icons including John Motson.
Scott says: “Calum is peerless in his knowledge of the Wireless business, brands and audience. He is the perfect candidate to fill the new role of General Manager. He will be working closely with the rest of my talented leadership team to continue our drive for innovation and growth.”
Victoria Bell - currently interim CMO for The Sun - is named General Manager, Marketing across News UK. The new role has a strategic remit to lead the combined marketing functions which serve The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and the national radio brands.
Reporting to David Dinsmore, Victoria will lead on News UK’s brand strategy and implementation, overseeing the customer acquisition and retention teams, as well as print sales, promotions and retail marketing strategy.
During her tenure, Victoria has worked in senior marketing roles across News UK, including Chief Marketing Officer for The Times and The Sunday Times. Previously, Victoria was International Marketing Director for Value Retail, the company behind luxury retail destinations including Bicester Village, and has run marketing for a roster of women’s lifestyle brands including Grazia and Closer for Bauer Media.
David Dinsmore said: “Victoria matches a brilliant grasp of the dynamics which make a brand relevant and necessary to consumers with a deep understanding of the News UK portfolio. Bringing all our marketing resources under her leadership will create an immensely effective operation to acquire and retain a growing audience.”
Meanwhile, Alison Dolan, Chief Strategy Officer, News UK, takes on additional responsibilities for developing new distribution partnerships with platforms. And Chris Duncan moves from his role as MD of Times Newspapers Limited to work with Alison in the new role of MD, Platform Partnerships, News UK.
Alison and Chris were pivotal in negotiating the recent deal with Apple which saw The Times and The Sunday Times launch on the Apple News+ paid subscription service.
News UK CEO Rebekah Brooks said: “As we continue to expand our audiences and grow our revenues, we need to develop new distribution relationships with major platforms. Alison and Chris will be focused on monetising our content in these spaces, as well as driving digital licensing and off-platform revenues.”
Alison was appointed Chief Strategy Officer in January 2017. Focused on long-term strategy and business development, she has been central to leading the company’s future-proofing strategy.
Chris Duncan was appointed Managing Director, Times Newspapers Limited in November 2016, and has played a leading role in driving direct revenue growth across The Times and The Sunday Times through print and digital subscriptions. Together, the brands have over half a million active subscribers, say the publishers.