Axed: Why News Corp closed Whimn.com.au, merges print brands

• Expanded leadership roles for Kate de Brito and Sarrah Le Marquand

Just three weeks ago News Corp Australia announced a new role for Richard Skimin as managing director of news.com.au, Kidspot and whimn.

On Monday this week he revealed a restructuring of the women’s lifestyle portfolio which includes the closure of whimn.com.au and the merger of two major Sunday print products.

In an email to staff on Monday, Skimin explained:

The new News Women’s Network will position us to be more focused on growing our brands which are number one in key categories:

• body+soul – number 1 in health, fitness and nutrition
• Kidspot.com.au – number 1 in parenting
• Stellar – Australia’s most read Sunday magazine
• news.com.au/lifestyle – number 1 in family and lifestyle

As part of this strategic direction, Kate de Brito and Sarrah Le Marquand will assume expanded leadership roles in the News Women’s Network.

Kate de Brito, editor-in-chief of our market-leading news site news.com.au which now reaches more than 12 million Australians, will expand her role to oversee the editorial direction of Kidspot.com.au. Kate will report to Michael Miller.

Sarrah Le Marquand will become editor-in-chief of our influential Sunday brands body+soul and Stellar, with responsibility also for bodyandsoul.com.au. She will oversee the development of an all-new combined magazine featuring both brands which will launch on Sunday 5 July. Sarrah will report to National Weekend Editor Mick Carroll.

This move will create a premium weekend women’s product, for the first time, across all our major markets of NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, and enable us to have a co-ordinated, compelling content offering for readers and importantly, advertisers.

As a result of these initiatives giving us a simpler, more growth focused structure, whimn.com.au will cease publication on June 30 and its relevant content will then be housed on bodyandsoul.com.au. I would like to acknowledge the whimn.com.au team who have delivered an engaging product over the past three years in a competitive environment and thank them for their dedication and professionalism.

The changes we are making today will be significant for how we position these titles for growth to meet consumer needs and ensure we are less complex for clients to leverage.

Operating as the one News Women’s Network will enable us to better collaborate to create brilliant storytelling that resonates with consumers and their lifestyles, while also developing advertising and custom marketing solutions using our data insights to ensure advertisers and clients are connected with the right consumer demographics for their products and services.

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