September’s here, it’s time to quit

‘The summer’s over, I’ve had time to think about it, I

want to quit,’ appears to be the mantra being followed by many high-profile media execs this month.

Recession or not, September has lived up to its billing as the month which gets headhunters hearts racing.

Today’s news that Andy Brent, group brand marketing director at BSkyB, has parted company with the pay-TV broadcaster just one year into the job, has taken many by surprise.

His departure, confirmed in an email by Jeremy Darroch, BSkyB’s chief executive, leaves a gapping hole in the management of the media and broadcasting group’s £100m plus marketing operations.

You can bet on Brent resurfacing somewhere soon.

But as unexpected as his exit is, it’s far from unusual this month. Also on the move is News International’s chief marketing officer Jeremy Schwartz, who walked out less than nine months into the top marketing role.

Let’s remember it took News Int almost six months to find Schwartz for its first overarching CMO role for The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, and News of The World, so it seems safe to assume News Int’s newly promoted chief executive Rebekah Brooks nee Wade was less than convinced.

The newspaper publisher is now expected to move back to its tried and tested model of having individual marketing directors responsible for each title.

Elsewhere, advertising veteran’s Daryl Fielding’s brief foray into newspapers ended abruptly on Monday, and Simon Davies is already primed to take over the role of commercial director of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.

Despite best intentions, sometimes, things just don’t work out – ask outgoing PPA chief executive Jonathan Shephard, who has attracted widespread criticism for his 18 month spell at the association for consumer and B2B magazines.

His decision to cull the association’s events and marketing activities during what is arguably the most challenging time the magazine industry has ever faced, didn’t go down too well with many publishing members.

And Shephard’s own unique style of management and communication didn’t appear to help his cause, with many vocally against him from the outset.

And we haven’t even mentioned C4’s Andy Duncan, News Int’s Mike Anderson, Mindshare’s Nick Waters or SMG’s Jim Marshall.

All of which make for a heated return from the summer, and you get the sense it’s just the beginning.