Advertising head leaves The Times following management restructure

Times Newspapers is to part company with its long-standing advertising director John Trickett, following a management restructure.

He is the third high-profile advertising chief to leave a national newspaper in the past three months. Mirror Group Newspapers advertising director Neil Hurman left in August, and Len Sanderson, managing director of sales at the Telegraph Group, quit last week (MW last week).

Trickett leaves “by mutual agreement” at the end of October and is not believed to have a job to go to. He joined the newspaper in April 1998 and was previously head of classified ad sales at the Evening Standard.

Times Newspapers appointed Mike Gordon, former ad director for News Group, to the new position of commercial director last month (MW September 18). The restructure meant Trickett reported to Gordon instead of directly to general manager Paul Hayes. The Times intends to appoint a replacement advertising director.

The exodus of sales directors comes after a year of severe pressure on advertising revenues in the wake of the economic downturn and the effects of September 11 and the war in Iraq. Several newspapers have responded by reorganising their senior management teams.

Latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures show that the Times increased average net circulation by 0.39 per cent to 632,274 in September on the previous month. However, for the six months from April to September, the newspaper’s circulation dropped 8.97 per cent to an average of 634,232, compared with the same period in 2002.

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