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Port Adelaide marketing boss to lead News Corp in SA

Media and marketing

A Port Adelaide Football Club manager has been appointed News Corp’s managing director for South Australia, while a new editor has been named for the Saturday Advertiser and Sunday Mail.

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Melissa Librandi, Port Adelaide’s general manager of marketing and growth, will replace long-time News Corp SA managing director Ish Davies at the start of next year.

Davies announced his retirement in October after 36 years with the company.

Librandi’s appointment as News Corp’s most senior Adelaide-based executive comes after a nearly 20-year career in media, travel and tourism.

Prior to joining Port Adelaide in March 2020, she was with the South Australian Tourism Commission for nearly a decade, including six years as head of marketing (domestic) where she was a member of the agency’s award winning “Barossa. Be Consumed” tourism campaign.

She is currently a board member with the Adelaide Cricket Club and an adviser to the City of Marion, according to her LinkedIn.

In a letter to all News Corp employees, executive chairman Michael Miller touted Librandi’s history as an “early advocate for the role of data in marketing and how digital marketing can best be used to solve the challenges facing business”.

“Hailing from Adelaide, she is passionate about her city and state and, in 2016, was awarded the Australian Marketing Institute Award for Marketing Excellence in Innovation,” Miller wrote.

Librandi said she was looking forward to “bringing energy and a digital focus” to News Corp’s commercial growth strategy.

“I’m a real believer in the power of personalisation and stories in building brands and there’s an opportunity to use our cutting-edge digital suite to connect with new audiences – there are so many incredible resources and insights at our fingertips,” she said.

Meanwhile, Paul Ashenden has been promoted to weekend editor of The Advertiser on Saturday and The Sunday Mail.

Ashenden, who is currently editor of SA Weekend, joined The Advertiser as a subeditor in 2008 and has held a number of senior roles with the masthead, including deputy editor, Messenger editor-in-chief and News Corp Adelaide’s forward planning editor.

His promotion comes after current weekend editor Jessica Leo-Kelton opted to take on a senior role with the Department of Premier and Cabinet as director of communications.

It’s the latest in a series of changes at the top of News Corp in Adelaide this year, with Advertiser editor Matt Deighton standing down in July to be replaced by Daily Telegraph deputy editor Gemma Jones.

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