Trinity Mirror has announced a series of new digital appointments following the decision to scrap its recently-launched Sunday People website and the departure of its head of Sunday Brands, Sue Douglas.
The company yesterday announced the website would be axed after less than three months since launch, accompanied by Douglas and another three members of her team. Low audience figures were cited for the decision.
Among the new appointments are Malcolm Coles, who has been with Trinity Mirror since 2011 and who launched experimental sites UsVsTh3m and Ampp3d last year, who will take up the newly-created role of general manager of Mirror online. Coles’ aim will be to “significantly grow” the Mirror’s digital audience in 2014, and editor of the site, Ben Rankin, will report directly to him.
In addition, Coles will carry on in his role as digital product director and report Simon Fox. Martin Belam, who helped launch UsVsThe3m and Ampp3d and has previously worked at the BBC and the Guardian, has joined as editor, new formats.
In other changes, Steve Anglesey has been appointed to the newly-created role of head of digital business development.
Lloyd Embley, editor-in-chief of the Mirror, said: “Our digital audience has grown exceptionally well over the last year. We need to ensure that this growth accelerates even further during 2014.
“Malcolm has a rare skillset that combines a background in editorial and digital product development which makes him the ideal person for this task.”
The changes also see Trinity Mirror invest more into sport content with the appointment of Dan Silver as Mirror Online’s head of sport. Silver has been tasked with bringing the best of the group’s football content to Mirror Online and increasing the quality of sport content across all Mirror digital platforms. The focus on sport mirrors that of its tabloid rival, The Sun, which now sits behind a paywall and offers premium football content to attract subscribers.
The shuffle at Trinity Mirror comes after after its failed venture with the seven-day Sunday People website, which attracted industry attention when it launched in November when it declared it would be funded entirely on a native advertising revenue model.
A Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “We act like an agile digital start-up where experimentation is key. Unfortunately, as with this case, some experiments don’t succeed.
“As a result the site will close with immediate effect and the team of four, led by Sue Douglas, will leave the company at the end of the month.”