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October 20, 2020updated 30 Sep 2022 9:42am

Independent editor Christian Broughton becomes managing director with brief to build ‘thriving’ business

By Charlotte Tobitt

Independent editor Christian Broughton has moved to the new role of managing director after almost five years at the helm and eight years leading the website.

Deputy editor David Marley has been appointed acting editor, while Katie Davies remains US editor focusing on the title’s expansion across the Atlantic.

Broughton’s new role will see him focus on growing the business by focusing on combining “outstanding journalism, revenue growth and industry-leading innovation”. Part of his remit will see him head up a new division called Independent Ventures.

Independent Digital News and Media chief executive Zach Leonard, to whom Broughton will continue to report, said the editor has “grown our international audiences with tremendous passion, technical expertise, and journalistic nous for more than eight years”.

“His ability to monetise readers, contributors and subscribers so effectively positions him perfectly to assume the new role of managing director over our new and evolving products, services and language editions.”

The Independent is planning to launch an edition in India in the next few months and another in China in about a year. It launched a Spanish-language website last month and it already operates websites in Arabic, Turkish, Urdu and Farsi.

Independent chairman John Paton told Press Gazette in March – just two weeks before the Covid-19 lockdown hit the UK – that the title expected to “blow by” £30m in turnover this year and is targeting £100m revenue four years from now.

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He said today the website had “continued to perform exceptionally well in recent times” with high-quality journalism and high traffic levels, and that it continues to pursue “significant growth initiatives around the world”.

“We are delighted to appoint Christian as managing director, to help drive growth and launch new innovations, securing The Independent’s future as a truly global quality news organisation,” he said.

According to the latest Pamco readership figures, The Independent had a total monthly brand reach of 28.2m in the second quarter of this year, up 23% on the previous year.

Broughton said the website is “going from strength to strength”, adding: “I’ve been fortunate enough to work with outstanding talents throughout my time at The Independent, both in print and while leading the editorial push that has seen our website grow from its infancy to being Britain’s biggest quality digital news brand today.

“With David and Katie leading the editorial teams in the UK, US and around the world, I know our journalism will continue to win new readers and reach new highs through many more memorable scoops and campaigns.”

He added that he was excited to be “focusing fully on the biggest issue facing the news industry globally: building a thriving business to support outstanding independent journalism into a bright future”.

The Independent closed its print edition and went digital-only in March 2016 and now has more than 100 journalists based in 13 cities around the world.

Its US audience is its fastest-growing and biggest readership, with an expanding team in the country to include a Los Angeles bureau opening in time to cover the US presidential election.

Picture: Independent

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