Increasingly, publishers are growing and unifying their operations across the globe as they look towards the future. But efforts at integration and internationalisation will depend on how the people involved come together.

Arguments against cross-border bureaucracies might have won the day in Brexit Britain – well, England – but in Magazineland, narrow nationalism is so last decade.

Earlier this month, magazine giant Hearst announced a decidedly europhile corporate strategy under the One Hearst Europe banner, unifying its European teams to ‘unlock talent’ across the group. The strategic move is designed to align four owned and operated markets –  the UK, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands – under an integrated approach to commercial objectives.

The One Hearst Europe move creates a cross-market structure, organised by function instead of country, around three key pillars:

  • Digital acceleration
  • Revenue diversification
  • Growing print share

Hearst country managers will continue to operate in their respective markets, managing their own  P&Ls. But they will work within four collaborative European business divisions, sharing best practice and looking for cross-market partnerships.

The cross-border consolidation from Hearst comes less than six months after global competitor Condé Nast announced it’s own international shake up. Last summer, the publisher of Vogue and GQ announced a new global leadership structure, bringing Condé Nast and Condé Nast International management together.

Condé Nast’s newly formed global leadership team was announced as a move to accelerate the company’s ‘evolution into a 21st century media company’. Hearst’s European restructuring  was billed as a move to create a more collaborative, future-facing media company.

Coincidence? ‘21st century media company’… ’Future-facing media company’ No, there’s a common theme here, and it’s mostly about people.

In the restructuring announcement the CEO of Condé Nast, Roger Lynch,said, “I’m confident that our new global structure will better enable us to collaborate across teams and markets and, ultimately, deliver unparalleled experiences for our consumers and clients.”

Hearst, looking to leverage audience and operational scale, is also keen to make the most of its people. James Wildman, President Hearst Magazines Europe said, “By aligning our exceptional talent across our markets, we will become even more innovative and effective.”

In an increasingly complicated and competitive media market, setting the brightest and best in your organisation on the biggest challenges, regardless of where they sit, is a smart move.

Read the rest of this article by Peter Houston on What’s New in Publishing…

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