Roberts will commence in the role following the completion of the proposed sale of Pacific Magazines to Bauer Media, anticipated to close by the end of this calendar year pending regulatory approvals.
In the role, Roberts will be responsible for broadcast operations, digital product & technology, and information technology. Roberts will report to SWM managing director and CEO James Warburton.
Commenting on the appointment, Warburton said: “I’m delighted to appoint Gereurd to this key role. Our online assets have never been more important, as digital platforms transform media and present us new opportunities. Through our BVOD service 7plus, which has grown 51% year on year, and 7NEWS.com.au, we’re well positioned for future. Gereurd will build on the digital growth he delivered at Pacific, where he grew their digital footprint by 70%, in his new role.
“We’re already delivering innovative new digital propositions to the market, including CODE 7 and contextual ad placement service, 7CAP. Plus, we’re gearing up to measure our combined broadcast and BVOD audience with VOZ from early next year, which will provide the first holistic view of the reach and power of TV across all screens. I look forward to the results I know Gereurd will deliver from our digital properties into the future, particularly as we approach Tokyo 2020.”
Roberts was appointed CEO of Pacific Magazines in October 2016, and prior to that served in numerous leadership roles in the business, including as general manager, commercial director, and publisher. His over two decades of experience spans management, commercial, and editorial roles, and beyond Pacific Magazines, he has held roles at Guardian News & Media and ACP (now Bauer Media).
Roberts said: “I’m thrilled to take on this vital role in the business. We are clear about the importance of our digital assets in driving our content led growth strategy and I look forward to leading that charge, capturing the attention of audiences across all Seven touchpoints by delivering engaging content through our online platforms.
“With 7plus and 7NEWS.com.au, which has established itself as one of Australia’s top five news website in just seven months, we are in an enviable position. I can’t wait to take our digital assets to the next level, and to work with the entire SWM team to build Australia’s most innovative, digitally-led media organisation.”
The appointment of Roberts follows the arrival of Charlotte Valente as SWM’s first chief marketing officer in October and will be followed by the appointment of a chief content officer.
All three roles are part of SWM’s streamlined new senior management team, joining Kurt Burnette (chief revenue officer), Bruce McWilliam (commercial director), Warwick Lynch (chief financial officer), Katie McGrath (chief people and culture officer) and Maryna Fewster (CEO – SWM WA).
Top Photo: James Warburton with Gereurd Roberts