News International shakes up mobile division

News International has shut its mobile division as part of the on going shake up of the company structure. Andrew Bagguley, head of mobile strategy, has left the publisher as part of the changes.

It is understood that the mobile division had about 11 staff and they have been absorbed into the company’s digital operations. It is not clear if Bagguley has a job to go to.

A News International spokesman says: “Bagguley successfully set in place News Group Newspapers’ mobile strategy. Following his departure, the mobile team have now been integrated with the overall digital division where they are delivering increase revenue and traffic and leading the sector.

Bagguley joined the publisher two years ago, moving from T-Mobile where he was head of international portal management. He joined News International as part of its bid to strengthen its mobile strategy. His role has focused on News Group Newspapers titles The Sun and News of the World.

He has pushed several mobile initiatives, including the trial of quick response codes (QR codes) in The Sun. The codes give one-touch access to information and works when a consumer takes a picture of the code using their camera phone. This causes the phone’s browser to bring up the programmed URL, such a newspaper’s mobile internet site.

In December last year it was trialled in an eight-page pull-out in The Sun, featuring advertisers such as Ladbrokes, Fox, Ford and British Airways utilising the QR code service.

Bagguley predicted that in less than two years, QR Codes could be used within news stories to drive younger readers onto its mobile internet site, (MW March 13).

The restructure at News International, which started in June, is being led by James Murdoch,News Corporation chief executive and chairman for Europe and Asia. He has been implementing widespread cost-cutting measures following recommendations made by the Boston Consulting Group.

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