It was announced today that Michael Stephenson is heading back to TV, taking up the role as Sales Director at the Nine Network in Sydney.
Stevo has significant TV experience so the move is pretty exciting for him, and leaves open an opportunity for someone to continue his good work at ninemsn.
This is a cracker of a role and right now is an absolutely key period for ninemsn.
First and foremost, despite what people say ninemsn is still the leading digital content business in Australia. It has a great CEO in Joe Pollard who is a charismatic leader and definitely a doer with an extensive knowledge of marketing and media. It has a new search product that so far is impressing. It has a video product about to hit the market which is excellent and a media network cousin that gives it both incredible leverage and opportunity.
Personally I think the ability for ninemsn to be selling integration, display, search, mobile and creative ideas and integration makes it a pretty solid offering.
On top of this it has unrivalled awareness in market when it comes to marketers and agencies.
My feeling is across the board in digital a Sales Director now needs to be less of a people manager and more of a strategist and visionary who can predict where the market is going to go in the next 3-5 years and position the company to accomodate this in terms of infrastructure, thinking and resource. Sales teams appear to be getting leaner but smarter.
Who knows how it will fall. But it’s a big opportunity for whoever takes the job.