NI rejig creates ad director gap

News International’s (NI) senior team is expected to announce a new advertising director for its tabloid newspapers imminently, following a restructure of the company’s management.

The rejig has created “US-style publisher” roles for two advertising and marketing directors. Moves are also underway to calm staff discontent.

NI has appointed Clive Milner, former advertising director of The Sun, News of the World and Today, as general manager of those titles. He will have full responsibility for the commercial activities of the newspapers, including their publishing requirements. Sun ad manager Gary Savage is one name tipped to replace him as ad director.

Chris Maybury, former director of news-stand sales and marketing, is to become general manager at The Times and The Sunday Times.

Industry sources believe the restructure is intended to put in place management that has a full brief over advertising pagination and paper supplies.

NI chief executive Bill O’Neill denies the new positions are related to the state of the newsprint market. “The new senior management has taken a look at the company structure and decided to deploy people in different positions to take advantage of business opportunities,” he says.

O’Neill also confirms that the new management has been operating an “accessible, open-door policy” designed to reassure staff about job security.

However, he denies staff discontent contributed to the departure of his predecessor Gus Fischer and head of personnel Tim Ovington.

“In 1991, there were reductions in the workforce, so we’ve told the staff that job security will be uppermost in our minds. We’ve made it a high priority to get closer to them,” says O’Neill.

Times Newspapers advertising director Camilla Rhodes will become deputy general manager of those titles, while Alasdair McLeod replaces Maybury as circulation and sales director. Former sales and marketing director Lauren Fox becomes director of strategic planning.