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Marketing chief to leave news industry body

Tracy De GrooseA news industry marketing chief who has helped spearhead the battle to ensure publishers win a fairer share of ad revenues from the digital giants is to step down from her role.

Tracy De Groose, executive chair of trade body Newsworks, will leave her post in September.

Tracy, pictured, recently led the regional and national press industry’s public health advertising partnership with the government during the coronavirus pandemic.

Interim managing director Jo Allan will assume responsibility for leading Newsworks after Tracy’s departure.

In her time at Newsworks, Tracy has sought to highlight the real value of trusted journalism, arguing in a speech last year that the focus on selling advertising space instyead of journalism had cost the industry £1b.

She has also been closely involved in efforts to ensure ABC figures reflect overall audiences rather than focusing on the “single narrative” of circulation decline.

Said Tracy: “The industry is collaborating more than ever and this is really beginning to show with some impressive results.

“Together we have put journalism back at the heart of the conversation, launched campaigns to unlock blocked revenue and created new revenue streams with the likes of the government ad campaign.

“As an industry, we lead the tech platforms in terms of audience scale, growth and most importantly of all trust.

“I have loved every minute of my time working with so many bright, talented and enthusiastic colleagues from across all publishers, and of course my own team.

“However, I feel now is the right time to hand over to a new industry leader who can carry on the transformation of this amazing sector and I wish Jo and the senior team all the best in taking the organisation to new heights.”

Jo added: “Having been involved with Newsworks as a consultant and as interim MD, I am excited to be appointed managing director with responsibility for leading the organisation.

“While the industry is experiencing enormous challenges due to the pandemic the audience it attracts continues to grow and there are enormous opportunities to be had from working together to promote the sector.”

Jim Mullen, Reach plc chief executive and deputy chair of the News Media Association, has paid tribute to Tracy.

He said: “On behalf of the industry I would like to thank Tracy for her energy, drive and vision in driving greater collaboration and campaigning across our industry.

“We wish Tracy well for the future. I am pleased that Jo Allan has agreed to step up to lead the organisation moving forward as managing director – she has played a key role in the industry’s progress and we are confident she can build on the achievements to date and take the industry further forward.”