News Corp sales roles made redundant, Alexandra Bliekast exits

News Corp

The head of national trading and NSW consortium agencies is exiting the business after seven years.

After seven years with News Corp Australia, head of national trading and NSW consortium agencies, Alexandra Bliekast, is exiting the business.

“I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my leaders and peers, for their incredible support, trust, and guidance throughout the years,” Bliekast wrote on LinkedIn.

“I feel very lucky to have worked with some of the most talented individuals in our industry, both locally and globally, and will always cherish the remarkable accomplishments we’ve had together.”

Bliekast’s exit comes as The Sydney Morning Herald reports News Corp Australia will “make up to 80 roles in its sales workforce redundant” as part of its ongoing restructure. A News Corp spokesperson told the Nine masthead that the claims of a 40% reduction in sales staff was “wildly inaccurate”.

A News Corp Australia spokesman told Mediaweek: “Like most companies we do not provide commentary on employment matters but the story that first appeared in the Nine Entertainment tabloids, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, contained multiple errors, including the egregiously false claim 40 percent of sales staff were to lose their jobs. 

“The published story still contains significant errors and we would appreciate having the opportunity to consider and respond to questions rather than media outlets automatically assuming these reports are correct.”

Other exits so far include Michael Wilkins, managing director of national sport brands, Marcus Hooke, general manager of print production, and Michael Desiere, head of sales – NSW independent agencies and major direct.

Two of the first high-profile exits were Lisa Muxworthy, the editor-in-chief of – the most popular news website in the country – and John McGourty, the Editorial Innovation Centre’s group director.

Speaking about the restructure in an address to the National Press Club last week, News Corp’s executive chairman Michael Miller said the move was to ensure the business “rightsize[s] through the advertising downturn to be in a position for growth.”

“I’ve never talked about numbers, and the speculation of the numbers out there is incorrect. In terms of journalists, we will always try to minimise the loss of frontline journalists who are on the ground,” he said in a Q&A following his Press Club address.

“Unfortunately, we are going through a lot of change as an industry. We’re looking to rightsize through the advertising downturn to be in a position for growth coming out. I’m not going to talk to numbers and never have, I don’t plan to either.”

The restructure comes in the wake of Meta’s refusal to re-sign media bargaining code deals, with Miller using his Press Club address to call for tech giants to be beholden to a legally binding “social license” with criminal consequences if they want to operate in Australia. 

See also: Michael Miller calls for tech giants to be bound by ‘social licence’: ‘They don’t mine our minerals, they mine our lives’

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