Northern & Shell hunts group chief

Northern & Shell is hunting for a group marketing director, a new position which will have a brief covering all its newspapers and magazine businesses.

Northern & Shell is hunting for a group marketing director, a new position which will have a brief covering all its newspapers and magazine businesses.

The new group marketing director will be responsible for the Daily Express, Sunday Express, the Daily Star and OK! magazine. Responsibility, however, excludes the porn titles. The appointee will report to N&S joint managing director Stan Myerson.

Behind the creation of the post lies concern about the company’s market position, particularly the standing of struggling Express Newspapers.

Sales of the Daily Express fell 6.21 per cent to a 961,754 circulation in the period August 2001 to January 2002, compared with the same period last year, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures.

This is in contrast to The Daily Mail’s 3.83 per cent increase during the same period, to a circulation of 2,480,374.

The Express-owned Daily Star has, however, experienced an increase of 12.72 per cent in its sales to a circulation figure of 617,316.

The media group has been offering OK! magazine for 1p with a purchase of the Sunday Express – a move criticised by the industry because it distorted circulation figures (MW April 5, 2001).

The Daily Express last month launched a weekly, eight-page pull-out recruitment section in an effort to attract classified advertising revenue and increase readership.

Northern & Shell also claims to be spending £30m on advertising to support the struggling Express titles this year (MW January 24).

Northern & Shell bought Express Newspapers in November 1999 from United News & Media for £125m cash.

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