The Daily Mail and Mail Online website are to bring their newsrooms “closer together” – a major development for the publications, which have traditionally sought to maintain strict independence from one another.
Ted Verity, the Mail Newspapers editor-in-chief, and Danny Groom, the Mail Online editor and publisher, told staff the aim was “to significantly improve the quality of all our products by ending unnecessary duplication”.
“For years, we’ve had multiple journalists working for the Mail’s titles writing and processing rival versions of the same stories,” the two editors wrote in a joint letter circulated on Tuesday.
“Now the time has come to take the next step in the digital revolution by bringing our two superb news gathering operations – the Mail and Mail Online – much closer together to fully harness their formidable story-getting power.”
The editors admitted that the war in Ukraine and the ongoing cost of living crisis have brought “serious headwinds for our business,” but insisted that the move “will help our titles be even more successful” and “more influential”.
Under the DMG Media umbrella, the titles have often produced rival versions of stories for print and online, but will now share content across the two platforms — a move that is expected to emulate the model adopted by the Mail’s sports departments, which have been collaborating across print and digital for more than three years.
In avoiding staff doubling up and chasing the same stories, bosses hope that the Mail’s journalists will be able to dedicate more time to producing original content across all three publications.
As a result, the newsrooms are expected to remain editorially separate — though both Mr Groom and David Dillon, editor of the Mail on Sunday, report to Mr Verity, who has overseen increasingly closer collaboration within DMG Media since taking over as editor-in-chief.
A senior source said that the change in operations will not usher in a raft of redundancies at the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and the Mail Online, the latter of which is read by more than 24 million people each month, and stressed that the move does not amount to a merger.
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However, it’s understood that staff at the publications are waiting to receive assurances about their future. In their letter, Mr Verity and Mr Groom wrote that further information will be provided in the week ahead about efforts to better collaborate across the Mail brands.
“Naturally everyone will be wondering: what does this mean in practice for me and my immediate colleagues? The answer very much depends on which area you work in: there’s no one size fits all.
“That’s why, starting this week, we will be talking to all news and production staff to give further details – and to hear how you think working practices can be improved by all the advantages of the digital age.”
The move comes on the same day that John Witherow, editor of The Times, announced that he would be stepping down after nearly a decade in the role. He has been appointed chairman of Times Newspapers.