Since The Australian reported the impending moves of media executives Peter Zavecz and Nicole Sheffield a week ago there has been no update on where they could be headed.
When asked by Mediaweek in the past few days for any update on their next career moves neither executive was available to talk and confirm or deny they are on the move.
If Peter Zavecz steps aside from the CEO role at Pacific Magazines and does return to News Corp there are several internal candidates who could take over from him. His departure has also been linked by some to Nicole Sheffield‘s next move as she currently looks after the NewsLifeMedia titles as well as News Corp’s Australia’s biggest digital properties.
The most likely internal candidates at Pacific Magazines to take the top job would be former commercial director Gereurd Roberts and the current general manager of fashion, beauty and health at the publisher, Jackie Frank. Roberts has recently stepped sideways to the role of general manager, food, family and home to allow new commercial director Prue Cox to take over sales.
Roberts has both editorial and sales experience, while Frank too is skilled in both those areas, has many years’ experience in the sector and piloted one of Australia’s most profitable magazines, marie claire, for 20 years.
Something that could put any management shuffles on hold is speculation that Pacific Magazines might be for sale. However unlikely that may seem, Bauer Media, now under the control of former Pacific CEO Nick Chan, or NewsLifeMedia, under the control of former Pacific publisher Nicole Sheffield, would like to add some scale to their offerings with the addition of the Pacific titles.
The competition regulator ACCC would seem unlikely to agree to further consolidation in the magazine sector, but major publishers could mount a strong case that with the sector facing so many challenges, making their companies stronger is the best way to safeguard the future of their titles. There is also a strong group of smaller publishers, led by the German-owned nextmedia and Prema Perera’s Universal Magazines, which are always on the lookout for titles discarded by the bigger publishers or ready for startup opportunities for niche titles.