Times Newspapers fills top marketing job

Times Newspapers Limited (TNL), which publishes The Times and The Sunday Times, as well as Times Online, has appointed Simon Bell as sales and marketing director.

Bell joins from Hachette Filipacchi, where he was responsible for Elle and Red. He will report to TNL managing director Paul Hayes.

The post has been vacant since a reshuffle last July, in which former TNL marketing director Andrew Mullins was appointed general manager.

Bell, who starts his new job on December 5, spent 12 years in marketing at Unilever before moving into the media, working for the BBC, FT.com and Music Choice TV. His marketing responsibilities at TNL will include retail trade marketing, circulation, promotions, brand communications, subscriptions and online marketing.

Parent company News International has imposed a three-year editorial budget freeze as its four national papers face rising costs and a weak advertising market.

Cutting overheads has become a priority – costs at TNL have reportedly risen by &£135m in the past three years. Advertising revenue, which accounts for about half the group’s revenue, has slowed, while profits have been hit by the decision to spend &£800m on new printing plants.

One press buyer says: “Lots of media owners are cutting editorial costs, but they need to strengthen the editorial output to ensure their products are vital to consumers’ daily lives and justify recent cover-price increases.”

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