MEDIA: AOL UK takes on group director

AOL UK, part of the world's largest internet service provider with 24 million members, has appointed Anne Alexander to the newly-created post of group publishing director.

AOL UK, part of the world's largest internet service provider with 24 million members, has appointed Anne Alexander to the newly-created post of group publishing director.

Her role is primarily to identify and develop synergies in editorial content across AOL's three main brands: AOL itself, CompuServe and Netscape Online.

Alexander was not available for comment, but Matt Peacock, director of corporate communications, said the appointment was to ensure that the provision of content remained paramount as services expanded.

'The key thing is that the internet is becoming a mature medium, like radio or TV,' he said. 'We are a multiple-brand company and each brand has a different voice, tone, style and rationale in content terms. Anne has oversight across the people that control the brands - she is not replacing the content heads.'

At present there are 70 full-time journalists working on AOL, the flagship brand, plus regular freelances. Those teams will undoubtedly grow, Peacock said.

Alexander reports directly to UK MD Karen Thomson and will predominantly work on AOL. According to Thomson, Alexander's 'knowledge of on-line and off-line publishing will be invaluable'.

Alexander was previously editorial director at health and fitness publisher Rodale. There, she was responsible for the multimedia and international development of the brand, including its partnership with Women.com, which led to US female lifestyle site Prevention.com.

Alexander will also be responsible for rolling out the group's wireless and broadband services in the UK.

The company announced its pounds 14.99 monthly inclusive internet access pricing plan last week and is currently testing broadband services.





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