John Hartigan, chairman and chief executive of News Limited yesterday announced the creation of a new seperate division within the company to implement an aggressive and ambitious growth strategy for The Australian.
The Australian has been part of Nationwide News, publishers of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph however Mr Hartigan says the announcement "reflects the significant expansion of our ambitions for The Australian."
"Under editor in chief Chris Mitchell, The Australian has enjoyed strong growth in circulation and readership," said Mr Hartigan.
By the creation of a seperate division New Limited intends to focus on growing subscriptions and readership of the printed version whilst broadening the reach of the publication through online, mobile and on new platforms.
The executive team selected to run The Australian will be Richard Freudenstein who has been appointed as chief executive officer. Freudenstein will remain in his position as chief executive officer of News Digital Media. Nick Leeder will leave is role as chief operating officer of New Digital Media to become deputy chief executive officer of The Australian, responsible for the day to day management. Chris Mitchell will continue in his role of head editorial operations as editor in chief.
Whilst the team will be headed up by executived of News Digital Media Mr Hartigan stressed that it was important to note The Australian was not becoming part of News Digital Media. "Richard and Nick have impeccable online experience, and digital expansion is very much part of the plan for The Australian, but their brief is to grow a fully multi-media brand, not just digital."