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Times Media on Thursday announced that it had bolstered its digital division with three appointments at the senior executive level.
The new hires see Riaan Wolmarans appointed Head of Audience Development, Percy Goetsch Head of Product, and Dan Calderwood Head of Multimedia. They will form part of the team directed by Lisa MacLeod, Head of Digital Publishing at Times Media.
Macleod herself was poached from Media 24, where she served as GM for Digital Publishing, in June this year.
The team will form a core part of positioning Times Media for an increasingly digital future. Their focus will be on delivering Times Media’s premium content to digital consumers, and the ongoing enhancement of customer-facing products to provide the best experience for our growing audience. We are fortunate to have such a talented and experienced group to deliver on our strategy to serve our consumers on all platforms,” says MacLeod.
According to a press release sent to Memeburn, the hires form part of Times Media’s broader diversification into other platforms and markets across Africa.
“We have acquired interests in leading radio and TV broadcasters in Kenya and Ghana and have recently purchased stakes in radio businesses in both Nigeria and Uganda. All of the operators have significant digital reach and provide a platform for growth in West, East and Southern Africa,” says Andrew Bonamour, CEO of Times Media Group.
For Wolmaraans, the appointment represents a return to Times Media. His previous experience includes steering the digital editorial output of the Mail & Guardian and Business Day/Financial Mail (Times Media Group) in South Africa and also worked in print and digital at the Financial Times in London. He was most recently Head of Digital Content at Metropolitan Republic, the Johannesburg-based integrated communications agency with operations in several African countries.
Goetsch meanwhile has spent the past five years working on various projects at Media24, including the development and launch of Netwerk24.
Calderwood also spent some time at Media24, where he was the founding editor of 24.com’s video brand News24 Live, heading up the company’s video department and strategy.
Times Media says its push towards digital includes developing proficiency in terms of technical infrastructure and tools, training, and dynamic content creation internally. This has led to the establishment of two senior internal positions to manage the change with Michael Biberauer, former managing editor of Business Day and Financial Mail being appointed as Digital Development Manager, and Business Day’s Valdi Strauss as Digital Production Manager. Both will be involved in large technical rollouts in the coming year, and the overhaul of newsroom structures and ‘digital-first’ workflows.