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NZME announces senior internal promotions and further expansion into Australia

One of the country’s leading agency sales teams is today announcing further expansion into the Australian market, with the appointment of Chris Rudd as GM Australia – Customer Solutions.

Rudd has been with New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) for 11 years and is currently GM Publishing (Commercial). Splitting his time across Australia and New Zealand, in his new role Rudd will be focused on new business opportunities and driving revenue growth within the company’s existing customer portfolio across the Tasman. He will work closely with NZME’s current Australian based team including Angie Russell, NZME’s GM Australia – Direct & Agency.

Head of Agency Sales, Greg McCrea says that Rudd has a wealth of experience of 25 years spent working in both Australia and New Zealand’s media industries, including his time at ACP in Australia, and will help drive NZME’s growth across the Tasman.

“NZME is expanding our presence in Australia and Chris will play a big role in not only managing our existing client and agency relationships, but also in driving new business for us. The work Chris does in his new role will complement the excellent work our Australian team is already doing – helping build on their excellent results and drive further revenue growth for the business,” he says.

“Having two senior, high calibre media industry experts in Chris and Angie being based in the Australian market really gives us a point of difference and allows us to engage further with our agency and client partners in Australia,” adds McCrea.

Rudd says: “I’m really excited to help drive new revenue in the Australian market. There is massive potential as well as great learnings we can deliver back to our team in New Zealand now the borders are open. It’s also great to be able to work across the full NZME portfolio of platforms and represent the company over in Australia.”

With Rudd moving into the new role, Margaret Hawker will step into the newly created role of Head of Commercial Publishing and Innovation. In this role, she will be responsible for the retention and growth of revenue into New Zealand’s Herald, encompassing the NZ Herald newspaper, NZME’s regional and community print brands, and nzherald.co.nz across both news and lifestyle content.

Senior promotions

The media owner today also announced the promotion of respected marketers Mandie Strachan and Gemma Vovchenko into two newly created senior leadership roles.

The two new roles align with two of NZME’s strategic priorities – Publishing and Audio – with Strachan taking up the role of GM Marketing – Publishing, and Vovchenko as GM Marketing – Audio. Both will work together to deliver on NZME’s strategic priorities, leading their own teams and working with many different stakeholders externally and across the business.

Gemma Vovchenko (left) and Mandie Strachan.

NZME Chief Marketing Officer, Katie Mills, says it is exciting to be able to draw from the talented marketing team, with both Strachan and Vovchenko having an in-depth understanding of NZME and the wider media industry.

“Mandie and Gemma are both exceptionally talented wāhine toa, each bringing their own unique strengths and skills to these newly created roles. I can’t wait to see them take ownership of these new roles and drive NZME further ahead in audio and publishing,” says Mills.

Strachan is currently Senior Marketing Manager NZ Herald & Regionals, and has more than 15 years of experience in advertising and marketing in media organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

This has included close to 10 years at NZME where she has worked across trade and marketing teams for the NZ Herald’s network of brands.

“I am really looking forward to continuing to support our talented teams who bring our publishing brands to life across editorial, product, marketing, commercial and operations, and watching the NZ Herald continue to go from strength to strength,” says Strachan.

Vovchenko also has vast experience in media marketing, having worked at NZME for more than 10 years. She has held a range of marketing roles in that time, including in consumer facing marketing and sponsorship across publishing and news, and most recently delivering the marketing strategy for two of NZME’s key audio brands – iHeartRadio and The Hits.

Vovchenko says: “Working even closer with the talented and passionate bunch of people who deliver our award-winning radio stations every day will be fantastic. With the trend towards digital audio growing substantially, I’m also excited to support the ongoing growth of iHeartRadio – ensuring excellent collaboration across all our audio brands to further boost our listeners on the platform.

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