Huffington Post is creating its own dedicated sales team as it moves to support the next stage of growth for the global publisher’s local operations.
The website launched last year as a joint venture with Fairfax Media, with Dentsu securing exclusive rights for Huffington Posts inventory for an undisclosed period of time.
The Australian is reporting Denstu Aegis is not renewing the ad sales deal deal "on the same terms after being disappointed by the site's failure to make a meaningful impact". AdNews understands from sources close to the matter that Dentsu will continue to work with HuffPost until the agreed deal comes to an end next year, and the initial one-year deal has already extended beyond its original terms.
The commercial team will be led by Ashleigh Thomas, who takes on the new role of head of advertising and content partnerships, having previously held the role of content studio producer.
“Thomas is an excellent ambassador of HuffPost Australia and will lead exciting plans for the brand’s continued growth,” HuffPost's recently appointed CEO JJ Eastwood says in a statement today.
“I’m excited to be taking HuffPost Australia to the next stage of its growth. The formation of a dedicated sales team is an important step in continuing to drive the commercial success of our business, reaching almost two million Australians a month according to Nielsen,” he adds.
Earlier this year founder and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington stepped down from the business. In the September Nielsen Online ratings it posted year-on-year decline of 2%.
HuffPost Australia’s new commercial team is expected to be fully operational by March 31, 2017. Recruitment is underway for several account management and ad operations roles.
Fairfax Media’s group director of digital ventures, Guy Reypert, also says: “JJ and Ashleigh are a great combination, and will be a formidable force in driving commercial results for HuffPost Australia. “Establishing a dedicated and specialist sales team for HuffPost Australia builds on the strong commercial foundation put in place by Fairfax’s network sales team since launching the site in August 2015.”
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