Roller-coaster ride into a new media landscape

Published, May 13 2016 by Sandy Naude, Cape Argus at 10:03am

Under Sekunjalo’s ownership, Independent Media has evolved rapidly, says Sandy Naudé.

A media career largely focused on advertising and marketing across a number of titles and groups found me in the position of general manager of the Cape region for the then-Independent Newspapers, with a dash of digital, when our group was sold to Sekunjalo.

Prior to the sale, Independent Newspapers was mired in cost-cutting and a lack of investment, particularly in digital, due to the challenges faced by our former foreign owners.

Fast-forward to the end of 2013 and new ownership.

Regional management (our silos), where incidentals ordered by out-of-town execs were cost-coded to their regions, disappeared to build the national structure.

Our new company moved into a new space – a South African space – where all readers and advertisers would have a voice and an opportunity to grow their dialogues.

Regional silos were transformed into national structures to maximise sales opportunities and the sharing of projects.

National conferences and town hall meetings brought commercial and editorial teams together with the same objective to transform our business by building our brands and commercial pitches.

A specialist government cluster was formed to handle the specific commercial requirements for the government. Editors collaborated with commercial teams and agreed on innovative styles for advertisers.

The mojo – or mobile journalism – studio was launched and new titles with a focus on vernacular were introduced.

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