International round-up: Oz creative to lead JWT

Oz creative to lead JWT

International advertising agency JWT has named Australian creative Matt Eastwood as its global chief creative officer, which will see him leave his post as chief creative at DDB New York.

The announcement was made by JWT global president Gustavo Martinez, who Mr Eastwood will report to in his new role, which he will begin mid-July.

Mr Eastwood began his career in the early 1990s as a copywriter for DDB Sydney, and worked for various agencies in different countries before returning to DDB in 2006.

“Matt joins JWT at a truly pivotal time in our history. Our 150th anniversary, a year in which we as a network are recommitting to creating pioneering work,” Mr Martinez said.

Mr Eastwood said that “joining JWT, with its long history of creating some of the world’s most iconic campaigns, is an incredible honour”.

Johnston Press in refinancing deal

The shareholders of multimedia company and major British publisher Johnston Press have voted in favour of a £360 million refinancing scheme.

The deal is estimated to slash the company’s substantial debt burden by a third to less than £200 million, which CEO Ashley Highfield has said will allow the publisher to redirect funds towards journalism and editorial content.

Mr Highfield told UK’s Press Gazette that over the past five years the company has been “effectively working for the banks” and that the security brought by the refinancing package would give it “five years to grow the business”.

He also said that the company has put aside £7 million for expenditure, which primarily would go towards journalism.

Washington Post partner program

The Washington Post has signed almost 100 newspapers to its partner program, which provides the Post’s digital products free to paid subscribers of other publications.

In a post on its website, the Post said that the program would allow partner publications bonus content while also allowing the Post “to expand access to its digital content across desktop, mobile web sites and phone and tablet apps”.

Digital First Media recently signed on and chief operating officer Steve Rossi echoed this sentiment. “We look forward to this mutually beneficial relationship in which we can offer additional value to our subscribers in the form of the quality digital content of the Washington Post,” he said.

A full list of the publications that have signed up can be found here.

Katz dies in plane crash

The co-owner of The Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com Lewis Katz, died over the weekend after his private jet crashed at an airfield in Massachusetts.

According to an official from the National Transportation Safety Board, the jet never became airborne despite reaching minimum take off speed and instead crashed through a fence and exploded in a gully.

The six other people on board the plane with Katz also died in the accident. A full investigation by the transportation safety board is underway and it will release a preliminary report within 10 days.

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