Trinity Mirror has poached Celador International senior executive Ellis Watson to fill the newly created position of general manager of Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN). The former News International marketer will head marketing and ad sales at MGN. He starts in his new role next month.
The move follows the departure of MGN managing director Mark Haysom and marketing director Alisdair Luxmoore – both are understood to have been sacked by chief executive Sly Bailey (MW April 24). MGN says that it is recruiting to replace Luxmoore.
Watson will be responsible for advertising, circulation and marketing for the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday People and will report to Bailey. Reporting to Watson will be advertising director Neil Hurman and circulation director Wally Cowley.
The Daily Mirror’s circulation has plummeted following its adoption of a more serious news agenda and its recent anti-war stance. Latest ABC figures show the newspaper’s average net circulation for April standing at 1,929,122, down 3.44 per cent on March (MW April 10).
Watson is managing director at Celador, the TV production and licensing company which developed and launched Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
At News Corporation, Watson held several positions including marketing director for News Group, the division which publishes The Sun and News of the World. In April 1999 he became acting general manager for The Sun’s online venture CurrantBun.com (MW April 15, 1999), but left later in the year to launch now-defunct internet company Talkcast. He joined Celador in November 2000.