New Independent Advertising hires

The Independent announces new commercial hires amidst global growth drive

London, United Kingdom– 15 April 2021 – The Independent, Britain’s largest quality news brand and a top-ten US news brand, has today announced a series of senior appointments across its advertising team. The hires reflect a new era of strategic and international growth for the company, following its ongoing commercial successes, underlined by five consecutive years of profit.

Commercial appointments being announced today include:

  • Emma Elford becomes The Independent’s first Commercial Content Director. She brings with her 12 years of expertise leading Telegraph Spark, the award-winning content studio. Heading up The Independent’s new branded content team, Independent Ignite, Emma will use her leadership and sales skills to deliver data-driven campaigns and develop new partnerships to bring brands closer to the independent-minded.
  • Oliver Wheatley takes on the newly created role of Trading Director, where he transitions from 13 years working at ESI Media and The Evening Standard. Most recently, he oversaw the creation, curation and optimisation of all agency and barter contracts, working as Head of Contracts and Interim ES Digital Strategy Director.
  • Beth Gordon joins The Independent as its Trade Marketing Director, responsible for the company’s commercial-facing marketing and communications. Her wealth of experience includes leading the European business marketing for Spotify and Twitter.

The news follows other recent commercial senior hires, including:

  • Lucie McInerney as The Independent’s Commercial Editor, a new position, which will see Lucie leverage over 10 years of editorial experience to progress the brand’s commercial strategy. Lucie’s promotion comes following two years working as Assistant Editor at the business, where she oversaw departmental content strategy.
  • Blair Tapper as Senior Vice President U.S., with 15 years in publishing including, Conde Nast and Bauer, who is driving The Independent’s commercial strategy in the US, growing existing commercial teams in New York and Los Angeles, while overseeing The Independent’s expansion into other US cities.

Reporting to Andy Morley, The Independent’s Chief Digital Revenue Officer, the expanded senior commercial team will reinforce and further build out the business’s data-driven products and services, audiences and global presence.

Commenting on the hires, Andy said: “We are thrilled to welcome these impressive individuals to The Independent, hires which demonstrate our unwavering commitment to bringing together the industry’s best talent.

We’re laser focused on continuing to lead the way in tech, data and programmatic, whilst diversifying further across our direct business. Through a renewed vigour around our trading book, the launch of the newest branded content team in publishing, Independent Ignite, and delivering a clear commercial vision to market, we firmly believe we can provide something unique: a strong, nimble, standalone proposition in the UK, US and beyond, motivated by detail and powered by scale.”

The senior commercial appointments coincide with a string of additions to the editorial team. Most recently, Nadine White has joined as the title’s first Race Correspondent, reporting on issues affecting the lives of people of colour and exposing stories of racial injustice. Nadine was the winner of the inaugural Paulette Wilson Windrush Award in November, was listed on the recent Forbes 30 under 30 list and has been nominated for a host of other prizes including the Diversity in Media Awards and the Amnesty Media Awards. The Independent has also welcomed talented columnists, Cathy Newman, the longstanding Channel 4 news lead, and Konnie Huq, author and television and radio presenter.

These appointments follow February’s landmark financial results for The Independent which delivered record revenues of £30m (up 12% year-on-year) and profits of £2.7m (up 18%).  

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