The company is hoping to tap into strong demand in the US, where 38% of its digital edition sales come from, and convert those readers into regular site visitors through more localised content.
Walker, the newly appointed head of audience engagement for its entertainment portfolio, will work closely with Rob Worley – who took a similar role in the US – to spearhead the integration process and identify affiliates and partnerships over next year.
Simon Maxwell, group publishing director says the company’s entertainment properties in the US are currently underdeveloped, compared to its UK operation which represents 73% of revenues, but has identified strong commercial opportunities to address this.
He adds: “This will mean potentially expanding the editorial remit of these properties with a US target market in mind and working closely with the publishing team in the UK and US to identify local opportunities.”
It is a part of wider efforts by Future to migrate print revenues to digital and return the US to profitability by 2013. Last year the publisher adjusted pre-tax profit for the year falling 39% to £5.1m on revenue down 6% to £141.7m.
Walker’s appointment follows the hire of Nick King to the position of digital commercial director earlier this month. He will head up the digital sales team and ad operations team across Future’s Bath and London offices.
The company has stated in the past that it still potential in print products so long as they are created collaborated with the target market.