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September 27, 2022updated 07 Oct 2022 7:17am

Daily Mail and Mail Online to stop being rivals and start sharing stories

By Charlotte Tobitt

There will be more collaboration between the Daily Mail and Mail Online to allow the brands to “fully harness their formidable story-getting power” and end unnecessary duplication, staff were told on Tuesday.

Traditionally the titles have often produced rival versions of stories for print and online, where the operations have been separate for many years.

They will now follow the model set by the Mail’s sports departments, which have been working together across print and online for three-and-a-half years.

There has been markedly more collaboration within DMG Media since Ted Verity took over as Mail Newspapers editor-in-chief and Rich Caccappolo was named DMG Media chief executive all at the end of 2021. Danny Groom was then named publisher and editor of Mail Online following the departure of editor-in-chief Martin Clarke.

In a message to staff seen by Press Gazette on Tuesday, Verity and Groom said “the time has come to take the next step in the digital revolution by bringing our two superb news gathering operations – the Mail and Mail Online – much closer together to fully harness their formidable story-getting power”.

The change is not being portrayed as a merger or an integration of the newsrooms. Instead, it means that there will be a concerted effort to end duplication, meaning more Daily Mail journalists writing for Mail Online first, for example, and only one Mail journalist sent on assignments such as royal tours.

Journalists will continue to have their part of the business credited in their byline where appropriate – for example, online bylines may sometimes feature “for the Daily Mail” following the name.

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Each brand will ultimately stay editorially separate with its own editor. Groom and Mail on Sunday editor David Dillon, who was appointed in December, both report to Verity. The Mail on Sunday is not included in the changes for now.

Verity and Groom said: “The aim is simple: to significantly improve the quality of all our products by ending unnecessary duplication.

“For years, we’ve had multiple journalists working for the Mail’s titles writing and processing rival versions of the same stories. Ending this will free up resources and talent to achieve two hugely important goals.

“Firstly, help Mail Online produce even more stories, better and faster than ever.

“Secondly, to allow the newspapers to concentrate on the journalism that really adds value for readers – big exclusives, in-depth analysis and reporting, hard-hitting investigations plus brilliantly written features and comment.”

Press Gazette understands that no job losses are planned at present, with the intention instead centred around the need to end duplication so journalists can do more original work.

The US edition of Mail Online will remain editorially separate, with this week’s changes affecting only the UK newsrooms.

The editors also told staff of a new plan for post-publication sub-editing on Mail Online “to make sure readers get the best possible experience without slowing anything down”.

They added: “There is no doubt that the war in Ukraine – and the ensuing energy and cost of living crisis – has brought serious headwinds for our business. But we’re certain that these changes will help our titles be even more successful, more influential – and, crucially, more fun and rewarding to work for – than ever.”

The change comes months after a relaunch of the Mail+ offering, the digital edition service of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday that contains some content not found on Mail Online.

According to the internal email, Mail+ attracted more than 1.2 million unique visitors in August and now has more than 88,000 fully signed-up subscribers.

The shake-up comes days after it was announced Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) chief executive Paul Zwillenberg is stepping down. Lord Rothermere, DMGT’s proprietor, will become chief executive of the company and will also remain chairman.

Picture: Andrea Savorani Neri/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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