When asked about management style, Bauer Media’s incoming CEO Brendon Hill told Mediaweek: “Paul and I are very similar in many ways. He’s been a great mentor of mine for a decade.
“I am very keen to let the teams drive the future strategy. I will continue with a lot of the things Paul set up. We do need to push quickly into new revenue areas. Becoming more of a data business is something that is on our radar. We are moving rapidly in that area, taking more care in collecting our first party data and then utilising it in new ways.”
Meeting outgoing Bauer Media CEO Paul Dykzeul for the first time was sometimes daunting for people who could find his honesty and direct manner almost confronting. Would Hill be a similar straight shooter and talk directly? “Absolutely, he’s taught me well.” [Laughs]
Regarding Dykzeul’s management style, Bauer Media global COO Veit Dengler said: “We always knew where Paul stood. That is a good thing. The whole Bauer group is going through a transformation as well and we are changing quite quickly. That requires a lot of communication and more teamwork than may have been used in the past. And that works best if it is direct and there’s not a lot of subtext or unspoken agenda. Being able to speak clearly about your position and what you are thinking is more productive.
“However direct Paul may be, he was always very inclusive and amiable.”
While Bauer doesn’t publish group financials, Dengler said Australia and New Zealand are a significant part of Bauer’s world. “It is the third-biggest publishing market for us after Germany and the UK. It gets a lot of attention. It is also far away so Brendon will get a little bit more autonomy than markets who are closer to us.
“That may or may not be a good thing, but he thinks it’s a good thing.” [Laughs]
Globally, Dengler said there was a return to print, but the rates of change differ dramatically market to market. “Australia had an earlier and faster decline than almost any other market. If you take the magazine share of the total advertising spend it is the lowest of all the Bauer countries.
“But we continue to be bullish about magazines. While men’s magazines have almost totally disappeared, there are other segments that are growing. We have to be smarter to identify where the opportunities are. We have to be good at launching new magazines and we have to be quick to close titles that don’t work any more. Then you can run a good business.”