Regional publisher Newsquest wants to offload its media agency sales offering to independent media sales house Mediaforce.
The business has started consultations with its sales staff regarding the proposal to outsource its sales function. It would see all Newsquest agency sales members switch to Mediaforce under TUPE regulations.
Consultations are being led by managing director Chris White-Smith who will join the sales shop’s management team.
Henry Faure Walker, chief executive of Newsquest, said the potential deal “opens up” revenue opportunities and “greater efficiencies”. Should the proposal be accepted, then it would free the publisher to plough more funds into its burgeoning digital footprint, which has most recently expanded around digital platforms.
Last year, the business drafted in Haymarket’s technology director Simon Hill as its digital platforms chief and also joined with other regional publishers to form a single sales point for more than 800 sites.
Faure Walker said: “We believe this [proposal] will not only benefit Newsquest but also the industry as a whole, by creating a more joined up national sales proposition for agencies and national brands to buy regional media across the UK.”
Advertising revenues at Newsquest were “virtually flat” in the first half of 2014, according to its parent company Gannett. Ad revenues were down 0.5 per cent in the period compared to 2013.