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New digital chief appointed for regional publisher

A new head of digital publishing has been appointed to lead websites across a regional newspaper company.

Robert Hardie has been chosen to take on the new role at Northcliffe Digital, where he will be in charge of the ‘thisis’ network of newspaper websites and the Local People hyperlocal sites.

He has held digital positions in Northcliffe for a number of years and was most recently its digital publishing director.

Robert’s appointment to the role follows the departure of Seamus McCauley who was head of publishing at Local People.

In his new post, Robert will report to chief operating officer Karen Kemble-Diaz and a statement from Northcliffe Digital said it now operated one publishing team across its digital portfolio.

His previous roles include being managing editor of Associated Northcliffe Digital and content strategy director for Northcliffe Media.

Local People now has a network of more than 100 community websites, with plans to launch another 100 by next year.

It was brought under Northcliffe Media this summer in a company restructure which saw Associated Northcliffe Digital disbanded.

8 comments

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  • October 28, 2010 at 9:38 am
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    Maybe Northcliffe will be able to develop a web stratgey under him, rather than chopping and changing on a whim.

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  • October 28, 2010 at 10:35 am
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    Web sites MIGHT be the future but are a drain on resources on local papers.

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  • October 28, 2010 at 10:36 am
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    Is anybody none the wiser after reading this? How many different names for how many different companies did/does DMGT operate?????

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  • October 28, 2010 at 10:52 am
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    Erm….wasn’t Robert Hardie in charge of the ‘thisis’ network already…..I don’t understand! PS – What is ‘Association Northcliffe Digital’?

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  • October 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm
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    First it centralises its websites, then devolves greater web control to editors, then takes it away. What a waste of everyone’s time and efforts.

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  • October 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm
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    Not sure on those Local People ‘commuity’ sites – seem to be ‘run’ by a part time staffer who then posts rehashed news and create their own user generated content. Surely just a lame way to levy advertisers, who aren’t as dumb as they used to be around unique visitors, hits and so on…plenty of good community site out there already without the need for a regional newspaper company to get involved…

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  • October 29, 2010 at 10:24 am
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    Isn’t Northcliffe the company that supposedly expressed an interest in owning some of the proposed local TV stations – and then promptly abolished Associated Northcliffe Digital, its in-house source of staff for any TV operation?

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  • October 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm
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    Robert Hardie is now in charge of the ‘Local People’ sites which are different to the ‘This is’ sites. They’re more local, and are largely forum based. I think they’re a fairly new idea. I actually think they’re fantastic. My town doesn’t have anything like this so it’s a welcome addition.

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