Guardian Newspapers Ltd (GNL) is launching a strategy and business development unit after claiming it has been swamped with proposals from third parties for tie-ups with its print and Internet properties.
Board planning director Stella Beaumont has been put in charge of the department, which has recruited four new executives – researcher Simon Tucker, financial analyst Richard Thompson, strategic adviser Dani Solomon and investment banker Brenda Gordon.
Beaumont will report to the GNL board on proposals such as new sponsored sections, dual branded websites and other tie-ups.
GNL managing director Carolyn McCall says: “We have received so many commercial overtures over the past year that we felt it was critical to create a team that would quickly evaluate and recommend which of these would be right for our brands and add value to our business.”
The new team includes staff with backgrounds in management consultancy, investment banking and financial analysis.
A spokeswoman adds: “We are looking at all sorts of things, such as internal product development. The department would assess whether the proposal was viable in revenue terms or whether it fits with our brand.”
She says marketing director Marc Sands, who joined earlier this year from ONdigital, would consider proposals affecting the brand.
GNL will also build its presence in the conference and exhibitions market with a strengthened commercial events and conferences team headed by Caroline Jackson.