MSN Ups Bale To Lead International Content, Bing Links

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is moving its MSN UK executive producer Peter Bale to a new position of international programming director, responsible for MSN content in all non-U.S. markets.

The role is a more strategic one than Bale, who joined in 2007 from Times Newspapers, has currently.

Bale will be reporting to MSN international GM Geoff Sutton, effective three months from now, still working from MSN UK’s Victoria HQ and on the road; a UK replacement is being sought.

Bale tells paidContent:UK he would like to invest in original content production, as he has done with MSN UK, and inject Bing in to MSN content, though it’s obviously early days so it’s not yet clear what the strategies may be…

“In the UK, we’ve gone from 10 journalists to 60 in the last three years. We need to look at it.

“One of my biggest priorities is unlocking the power of Bing search within MSN. We have a really interesting opportunity, journalistically, to really deploy search-led content, so that the journalist not only has curated links for readers but also the depth of the web sitting underneath that.

“If we’re assembling a travel story, we may see four or five links the journalist has curated for us – but, with a search engine sitting underneath a publishing platform, we should be able to make that a much richer experience.”

MSN has over 40 portals around the world, including some which are joint ventures, like in Australia and Singapore.