Are Media has made its first big hire since rebranding from Bauer Media with Andrew Beecher joining the publisher as CEO of its automotive division.
Beecher was formerly the CEO of Car Advice, a role he stepped down from in 2019 after more than five years.
The announcement comes as part of a strategic refocus for the publisher’s automotive arm, with Are Media CEO Brendon Hill saying Beecher will look to build the business as a standalone entity.
“Andrew is a proven leader with a passion for automotive audiences. He has a track record in transforming automotive media properties and we see a strong future for these brands that require a specialist focus within the wider Are Media portfolio,” said Hill.
“With that in mind, Andrew has the mandate to establish the automotive brands division as a standalone business, independent from the core Are Media portfolio.”
Beecher’s appointment sees general manager of Are Media’s Trader portfolio, Terry Williams, leave the business.
“I sincerely thank Terry for the outstanding role he has played managing our Trader businesses in Australia and New Zealand, especially his efforts in growing Whichcar.com through multiple platforms,” said Hill.
Beecher has over 20 years experience in automotive and digital publishing, having previously led Carsales’ early marketing efforts and launched the business’ display advertising division.
“I’m pleased to be working collaboratively with Brendon Hill and the wider Are Media leadership team as we repower these iconic automotive brands with a singular leadership focus, an approach that will benefit our audience, our customers, our employees and the broader business,” Beecher said.
“The respected auto titles in Are Media’s portfolio have long been favourites of Australian motoring enthusiasts and new car buyers. However, an iconic past is not enough in a competitive automotive media landscape in 2020 and beyond.
“My direction for our future success is highly aligned with Are Media’s aspirations for the auto brands. We are the only significant auto publisher in Australia that is genuinely consumer funded via our passionate, loyal and highly engaged subscribers. A renewed focus on subscribers goes hand in hand with delivering our OEM, agency and aftermarket advertisers a premium, uncluttered and effective range of products to connect their brands to our audience.
“My initial focus is ensuring the team of Australia’s best motoring journalists and content creators is empowered to deliver authentic world-class automotive storytelling that inspires and excites. Our readers demand it and so do we,” Beecher said.
The new strategy under Beecher’s leadership will oversee the future growth of mastheads Wheels, Street Machine, Motor, 4X4 Australia and Unique Cars, along with new-car advice site WhichCar.com.au.
Beecher takes up his Melbourne-based role effective immediately.