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Johnston Press merges print and digital operations to build on online audience growth

By Freddy Mayhew

Johnston Press, publisher of the i and The Scotsman titles, has merged its print and digital operations as it looks to build on digital audience growth across the group.

At its Annual General Meeting last week, the publisher claimed digital audiences had grown by 11 per cent year-on-year, with page views up 17 per cent.

It also said had seen “double digit growth” in digital advertising revenue (excluding classified) over the past 12 months since Johnston Press took ownership of the i from ESI Media.

The new switch to a “cross-platform approach” to publishing has resulted in changes to senior management responsibilities, with chief digital and product officer Jeff Moriarty taking on a wider remit.

Moriarty, formerly vice president of digital at The Boston Globe, will oversee the digital product and multi-platform publishing operation as well as group marketing and events.

As spokesperson said Moriarty’s new role would see him “tasked with ensuring the business’ products and solutions are optimally print and digital focused whilst identifying digital revenue streams”.

Richard Thomson has been appointed group publishing director, Paul Napier has become publishing director and Nigel Leigh has become senior director of commercial products and events.

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Moriarty, who joined Johnston Press in 2014, said: “This cross-platform approach in publishing acknowledges that our audiences will continue to move towards digital and yet we must preserve our print readership for decades to come.

“We must have an integrated approach – and get the print/digital balance right in each market – in order to continue to grow audiences, optimise revenues and ensure a vibrant mix of news brands that reach national, regional and local customers.”

Johnston Press publishes dailies the Yorkshire Post and Portsmouth News as well as 154 paid-for weekly titles and 37 free newspapers and their corresponding websites.

Picture: Johnston Press

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