Former WPP CEO Mike Connaghan joins News Corp to monetise content

• Commercial content is a growing part of News Corp Australia’s business

Former WPP Australian and New Zealand chief executive Mike Connaghan (pictured) is joining News Corp Australia to enhance and maximise the value of content for commercial clients and audiences.

Starting today in a new position as managing director, commercial content, Connaghan said it represented an exceptional opportunity to extend his extensive experience by working with some of Australia’s leading content creators.

“News Corp Australia has always been the quintessential media partner for brands looking to connect with consumers,” Connaghan said.

“I’m looking forward to working with a distribution platform that’s second to none, that can deploy personalised content at scale or build distinct, highly targeted audiences.

“This ability to help clients connect with their consumer and deploy personalised, relevant, premium creative content and to help them build their own audience using our assets and first party data is an amazing opportunity.”

News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said Connaghan’s role was a missing piece of the strategic puzzle.

“We’re expanding and diversifying the way we connect with our commercial partners and our audiences with an increasing focus on digital,” Miller said.

“There is no doubt that News is Australia’s most diverse creative content company but we all agree we need to do more to maximise the value of that content for both our audiences and our commercial partners.”

Commercial content is a growing part of News Corp Australia’s business with investments in Medium Rare, Storyation, Suddenly and audio content.

Leading the expansion of News Corp Australia’s content agency portfolio Connaghan will oversee Suddenly, audio and native content production, and he’ll join Medium Rare’s board, which also includes content agency Storyation.

Nationally, commercial content has been enjoying revenue growth of at least 15 per cent annually in a market estimated to be worth about $2 billion.

“Mike will be involved in driving the success of this part of our operations even harder,” Miller said.

“He really shares our vision for what we can achieve, that we can be far greater than the sum of our parts. It’s a real coup to have someone of Mike’s talent and experience join us.”

Connaghan has a long career in Australia’s advertising industry, having started with the legendary Singleton Ogilvy and Mather agency and going on to lead that business as it expanded.

As that agency joined with others to create STW, the largest marketing content and communications company in Australasia, Connaghan was CEO for a decade until 2016 when STW acquired the Australian and New Zealand operations of international advertising business WPP.

He then led that combined company until 2018 when he set up his own consultancy.

Connaghan is also chairman of the ground breaking RUOK? suicide prevention campaign.

As managing director, Commercial Content Connaghan will draw on his extensive experience to implement within the company News Corp Australia’s vision of a consortium of independent but collaborative content agencies.

Photo: The Australian

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