Guardian makes marketing roles redundant

Guardian News & Media (GNM) has confirmed that its marketing department will see further redundancies following the departure of long-serving marketing director Marc Sands.

In a statement, the company confirmed that Sara Rhodes, the head of sponsorship, events and marketing operations, is to leave her position but continue to work for GNM on a freelance basis. The roles of head of consumer and commercial marketing and head of data marketing have also been made redundant. A number of advertising sales staff have also been released.

The redundancies are the first of more than 100 staff positions in the company’s commercial operation that will be cut in the coming months. Sources told Marketing Week that there is more misery on the way for its marketing team.

GNM managing director, Tim Brooks, says: “I can now confirm that all conversations in commercial departments have taken place. Although many of the decisions have been driven by the need to reduce our costs to a more sustainable level in line with our reduced revenues, another key factor has been the need to create a more efficient structure for GNM.”

In the branded products and services division the role of web producer has been made redundant, as responsibility for the function is now part of GNM’s technology team.

Brooks also revealed that Richard Thompson would run the Guardian’s proposed membership scheme, which will launch next year.

The publisher is merging its PR and internal communications teams. The company is seeking a head of communications to lead the new team.

Following Sands’ departure in October, Adam Freeman, commercial director of GNM, was made director, consumer media, a new role with responsibility for display advertising sales, newspaper sales, marketing and the financial performance of the publisher’s newspapers and websites.

In its annual results earlier this year parent company Guardian Media Group revealed that GNM had made an operating loss of £36.8m in the year ending on 29 March.

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