UK publishing giant Reach is considering a plan to expand the Mirror and Express websites into the US market by employing more than 100 staff across the pond.
Press Gazette understands the proposal, which would involve the launch of .com versions of mirror.co.uk and express.co.uk, was discussed by managers at a meeting on Thursday.
The project has not yet been given the go-ahead and it is possible that Reach does not move forward with the plan or does so with a smaller staffing than is currently proposed.
If Reach goes ahead with its proposal, it has been mooted that it could involve as many as 60 journalists on the Mirror in the US and a further 60 at the Express, with somewhere between 120 and 150 in total according to a source.
Their duties would include covering the overnight hours in the UK and they would have their own traffic targets, chasing The Sun in particular.
Reach’s US ambitions have likely been inspired by the successes of Mail Online and The Sun in America.
The Sun launched its US website, with new content aimed at US audiences as well as bolstering its existing royal and entertainment coverage that was already popular in America, in 2020 with an initial team of about a dozen staff in New York.
The-sun.com is now the 29th biggest English-language news website in the US, according to Press Gazette’s latest monthly ranking, with 41.1 million visits in July following growth of 78% year-on-year – making it the second fastest-growing site in our top 50.
Mail Online, which also has a heavy focus on celebrity news, is well-established in the US and has had the Dailymail.com domain since 2014. It was the tenth biggest news site in July with 115.7 million visits – the second biggest UK site in the US behind the BBC.
Neither the Mirror nor the Express currently appear in the top 50 news websites in the US. In the UK, Ipsos iris data from June put The Sun in second place behind the BBC, with the Mirror and then Mail Online in third and fourth respectively for audience size.
Reach’s proposal comes amid strike action over pay among Reach journalists in the UK and Ireland.
Some 1,150 walked out on Wednesday and plan to do so again for three days from 13 to 15 September unless an agreement is reached with the company, with a period of “work to rule” now ongoing meaning journalists are working only their contracted hours and duties.
Reach declined to comment on the US proposal and has said of the strike that it is open to further talks but must ensure “the group has a sustainable future in the face of an uncertain economic climate”.
Email email@example.com to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog