A regional publisher is launching two new central digital units with the creation of 31 jobs as a result.
Johnston Press has announced it is setting up the hubs, which will have an emphasis on providing “socially-driven and trending content engagement” for the company’s biggest titles online.
Of the 31 newly created roles, 21 will be editorial, with jobs covering video production, social media, digitally-optimised content, data analysis and team management.
Two new head of audience roles, based in Edinburgh and Leeds, will be created to lead the teams. Ten digital sales personnel will also be hired as part of the project.
JP says its news sites last year averaged 108 million page views per month and more than 25m unique users per month, with stand-out performers include the Yorkshire Evening Post, growing its web traffic 46pc year-on-year, and Sheffield daily The Star, which saw web traffic up 43pc in the last year to almost 10m page views per month.
Martin Little, pictured, Johnston Press director of digital content, said: “I am excited that we are able to start 2018 announcing investment in new digital talent.
“We have a wealth of top-performing websites in big towns and cities across the UK – and our plan is to accelerate audience growth even further this year with more relevant, trusted, quality content for readers and effective and impactful solutions for our advertisers.”
The plans were also highlighted in a New Year message to staff outlining the company’s strategy for 2018 by JP chief executive Ashley Highfield who said the plans would enhance the company’s reach in its key markets by providing content for its fastest-growing titles.
In the message, which has been seen by HTFP, Ashley also outlined plans to “differentiate” its titles’ offerings with journalists creating ‘sponsored content’.
In a section emtitled ‘What this means for editorial’, Ashley said: “We continue to reorganise our newsrooms using the latest technology to ensure our journalists are equipped to spend their time crafting, curating and producing their multimedia content rather than processing it.
“Our editors continue to play a vital role at the heart of their communities, as do journalists in the locality. They work closely with teams in region-wide advanced community hubs, supported by expert lifestyle content written by a central team, with additional stories coming from our pioneering, award-winning, investigations unit. Our national team at the i newspaper continues to develop and reach new audiences through our focus on quality, ‘open-minded’ journalism.
“Our journalists, working with our local and national advertising professionals, will also help us to differentiate our offering by creating sponsored content (now the fastest growing part of our business) which will resonate with local and national advertisers (and audiences) on all platforms.”