Seven Media brings on new chief digital officer

Appointment follows announcement of first-ever CMO in October and is part of a new management structure under James Warburton

James Warburton (left) and Gereurd Roberts
James Warburton (left) and Gereurd Roberts

Seven West Media has confirmed Pacific Magazines chief, Gereurd Roberts, as its group chief digital officer.

The ASX-listed media group said Roberts will take up his new post following completion of the sale of Pacific Magazines to Bauer Media, which is anticipated to be finalised by the end of 2019, pending regulatory approval.

The CDO role will see Roberts responsible for broadcast operations, digital product and technology and IT, reporting directly into recently installed managing director and CEO, James Warburton. Roberts has spent the last three years as CEO of Pacific Magazines, and previously maintained general management, commercial, publisher and editorial roles for organisations including Guardian news & Media and ACP.

Roberts takes up many of the responsibilities formerly held by Clive Dickens, who left SWM in March to become VP of television, content and product for Optus. His appointment also comes after the media group confirmed its first chief marketing officer, Charlotte Valente, in October.

“Our online assets have never been more important, as digital platforms transform media and present us new opportunities,” Warburton commented in a statement. “Through our broadcast video on-demand service, 7plus, which has gown 51 per cent year-on-year, and 7news.com.au, we’re well positioned for the future. Gereurd will build on the digital growth he delivered at Pacific, where he grew the digital footprint by 70 per cent in his new role.”

Roberts said he was thrilled to take on the “vital role” in the SWM 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,” he said.

He noted 7news.com.au had established itself as one of Australia’s top five news websites since launching seven months ago.

“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,” Roberts added.

SWM said it’s now on the hunt to confirm a chief content officer as part of a streamlined new management team led by Warburton. Others on the senior management team include chief revenue officer, Kurt Burnette; commercial director, Bruce McWilliam; chief financial officer, Warwick Lynch; chief people and culture officer, Katie McGrath; and CEO of SWM in Western Australia, Maryna Fewster.

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