Top jobs axed in Express purge

Express Newspapers’ sales director Andy Jonesco has targeted his long-serving management team in the round of redundancies announced last week (MW February 21).

Four heads of department were made redundant last Friday: Shalene Perkins, head of advertising on the Express on Sunday; Charles McCrostie, head of advertising on The Star; Peter Thompson head of advertising for features; and Bill Ridd, classified controller.

Others to go include Bob Salmon, research controller; Phil Snowdon, group head for the daily sports supplement; and Mike Baker, contracts controller. Research and sales support director Ian McLelland opted to continue working for the Express group on a consultancy basis.

Also hard hit was the sales team’s presentations department, where three out of four people took voluntary redundancy. There were another 14 redundancies from the lower levels of the department that were mainly voluntary.

The staff will now be restructured into groups, led by four managers reporting to Jonesco and deputy sales director Julie France.

Jonesco denies the redundancies are primarily a cost-cutting measure: “This is a matter of rebuilding and restructuring to get up to the standards the market requires.

“Those who left on Friday took it very well and acted with great grace,” he adds.

As part of the revamp, Jonesco has appointed Anne Mollen, head of strategic development at his old newspaper, The Telegraph, to head a new business development unit. Mollen will be charged with sponsorship, advertorial, Internet activity and new revenue streams.

The newspaper is also planning to promote existing staff into new management positions.

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