News Corp launches prestige division as Nick Smith exits

News Corp has unveiled a restructure of its mastheads which will see the company’s premium newspaper and magazine brands fall into the same division for the first time.

The Australian will now sit with the company’s magazine brands licensed from Conde Nast International – Vogue Australia, Vogue Living and GQ – as part of the News Prestige Network.

Then move coincides with the departure of former GQ editor Nick Smith after more than a decade with News Corp “to take on a new career opportunity in the UK”. It also comes days after chief digital officer Nicole Sheffield left the organisation. And the company also revealed the move of SBS sales chief Andrew Cook to join News Corp.

The company has expanded the News Prestige Network, which it launched eight months ago, into a fully fledged publishing division as part of the changes. The division will be run by The Australian’s current CEO Nicholas Gray.

Gray (right) will run the division. Smith (left) and Sheffield (second from right) are both leaving

According to Friday afternoon’s announcement, The Australian’s inserted magazines – Wish, Mansion, The Deal and The Weekend Australian Magazine – will also be in the high end stable.

Gray will lead commercial, product and marketing aspects of the division.

Edwina McCann, currently editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia, will also become editorial director across the three Conde Nast titles, replacing Smith. She will work alongside The Australian’s editor-in-chief Paul Whittaker on editorial strategy.

And Fiona Nilsson, currently head of Food Corp – which was created 18 months ago covering the company’s food mastheads including Delicious, Donna Hay and Taste – will become lifestyle director for News Corp, running both its Food and Homes portfolios.

Nilsson: Taking on lifestyle portfolio

The company has also announced the Andrew Cook – previously director of media sales at SBS – will be joining the company as GM of advertising for the division.

Cook: Moving from SBS to News Corp

Cook will replace Vaughan Cottier who was promoted into the role two years ago but is now leaving for a US role.

Cottier: Moving to US

Gray said in the News Corp announcement: “I am pleased to be given the opportunity to lead this division of the company, and work with Paul, Edwina, Andrew and the teams, to help the News Prestige Network grow further.

“I also want to thank both Vaughan Cottier and Nick Smith for their outstanding careers with News Corp Australia. Both are moving overseas for further career development. We are sad to lose them, and they leave with our best wishes.”

McCann said: “I’m thrilled to take on this new role as editorial director.”

And Cook said in the announcement: “I’m looking forward to joining The Australian and the News Prestige Network. The Australian has a proven history in contributing to making a better Australia.”


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