Prior to taking the helm of ad giant Y&R in 2006, McLennnan was chair of its Australia/New Zealand operations.
Earlier he worked at George Patterson Bates, which Y&R acquired. At GPB, McLennan worked in Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong.
He will divide his News Corp. time between Sydney and New York.
GANNETT EYES PAYWALLS FOR PAPERS
Gannett plans to erect digital paywalls around its 80 community papers by the end of the year as part of the growth plan announced Feb. 22 by CEO Gracia Martore to investors in New York. It is adopting the metered system used by papers like the New York Times that allows free access to five to 15 articles each month.
Gannett’s USA Today flagship remains free online.
The company is “once again playing offense, poised for growth and value creation,” said Martore. It used the recession to pay down more than $2B in debt and took “aggressive actions” to fortify its balance sheet so “we now have the flexibility to focus on growth while returning increased capital to shareholders,” the CEO said.
Gannett, which has approved a 150 percent hike in dividend to 80 cents per share, aims to return more than $1.3B to investors by 2015 from the company’s cash flow.
Martore has an eye out for “bolt-on acquisitions” and expansion of USA Today’s sports media unit, which expects to be a Top Five media company by 2015.
WSJ’s SEWARD TO ATLANTIC MEDIA
Zach Seward is joining Atlantic Media Co. as senior editor for its in-the-works publication to be launched this year.
He had been at the Wall Street Journal in charge of web outreach social media initiatives. Seward also was training WSJ staffers on the use of social media.
Kevin Delaney, editor-in-chief of the new brand, calls Seward “one of the smartest thinkers about digital opportunities for journalistic innovation.” He wants the new venture to be “disruptive, open-minded and bold in rethinking how people get news and analysis.”
Prior to the WSJ, Seward was assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, covering the media industry.
He joins Atlantic Media on Feb. 29.
RUIZ EXITS HUFFPO
Mario Ruiz, who handled PR for The Huffington Post, is leaving to start his own firm.
Arianna Huffington, in a note to staffers, called Ruiz “our PR, marketing, and communications departments all rolled into one - a one-man-band.”
Ruiz also fielded every media inquiry “whether they came early in the morning or late on a weekend night,” she wrote.
Huffington is proud of Ruiz for “spreading his wings” and plans to work with him for years to come.
Huffington Post Media Group is the charter client of Ruiz.