Walker on way out as general manager at News International Scotland shake-up

THE general manager at the publishers of The Scottish Sun and Sunday Times Scotland is to stand down.

Steven Walker is stepping down from News International Scotland, which is responsible for The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World north of the border.

Already gone is sales director, Elaine Ward-Fincham. The company says the shake-up follows a review of the Glasgow-based operation, with Sandra Tinker, who runs News International’s advertising team in Manchester, lined up to replace Ward-Fincham.

Marketing director, Sean Duffy, is also understood to be going, the trio of departures suggesting a shift of commercial activity from Glasgow to Manchester.

Says a memo from Paul Hayes, News International’s commercial managing director: “Last week, you saw my email outlining our determination to remain the UK’s leading media organisation, which will require the determination to invest and continually review our cost base.

“I believe that there are opportunities to maximise revenue with a more cohesive sales force, and to enable this we have today announced changes in our Scottish and Manchester offices.

“Sandra will take on the newly created role of regional sales director across both Manchester and Scotland and will focus on how we create a Regional Sales force.

“Steven Walker has helped formulate these changes and will be working with us on the implementation of these plans over the next few weeks, after which he will be leaving the business. I would like to thank Steven for his contribution and support during his time at NI.

“Elaine Ward-Fincham’s role (Scottish Commercial Director) has been made redundant. Elaine has made a significant contribution to the commercial success of our titles in Scotland during her ten years with the company. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her and wish her well in her future endeavors.

“We have also reviewed the structure in Ireland with a focus on ensuring we meet our clients’ needs. As a result there will be some changes. We will be working closely with those affected over the coming weeks and will keep you as up-to-date as possible.”

Walker joined News International four years ago, succeeding Colin McLatchie, after leaving The Scotsman Publications Ltd following its takeover by Johnston Press.

Adds The Drum media and marketing magazine of Ward-Fincham: “[She] is one of the best known operators on the Scottish media scene and joined the News International team in 2001 after seven years working for rival Mirror Group as head of contract negotiation and revenue development strategy for the Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail.”