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News International will merge the back office operations of its News Group titles, according to indications of what will be contained in Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) streamlining review of the group for James Murdoch. As unlikely as it sounds, given the titles’ clear differences, that will mean a single management team for The Sun, The Times and News Of The World, with individual MD roles disappearing, Telegraph.co.uk says: “Editorial teams will remain separate, but elements of marketing, advertising sales, websites and circulation are likely to merge.”
While News International may be pooling its management staff, papers have remained staunchly against the newsroom “integration” trend, both within individual titles and across the group. We revealed last month, however, that Times Online was meeting WSJ.com to discuss further cooperation and data sharing, so News Corp-related synergies are clearly on the agenda in some fashion. News Corp (NYSE: NWS) has signalled one change by announcing the closure of its loss-making News Magazines unit this week.
Guardian: “BCG’s recommendations have been handed to a steering committee of News International executives, including Murdoch, the News Corp Europe and Asia chief financial officer, Mark Williams, and the Sun editor, Rebekah Wade.” All this comes as a knock-on from News Corp’s Dow Jones acquisition – Times publisher Robert Thompson joined its WSJ before becoming DJ CEO, while ex News International boss Les Hinton has become WSJ managing editor.