Mail merge

Mailonline and Daily Mail merger plans raise fears of job cuts

The Daily Mail and its talkative sibling Mailonline are to merge under plans unveiled by their publisher as it attempts to forge a digital future for overlapping and frequently competing titles.

In a memo to staff that caused newsrooms to fear major job cuts, their editors said they would “end unnecessary duplication.”

He said: “There is no doubt that the war in Ukraine – and the resulting energy and cost of living crisis – has brought serious headwinds to our business.”

Ted Verity, editor of The daily mail and Mail on Sunday, and Mailonline’s Danny Groom said: “For years several journalists worked for the Mail’s headlines, writing and reporting on rival versions of the same stories. Ending this will free up resources and talent.”

They said the move would allow Mailonline, known for its celebrity “sidebar of shame” and magpie approach to assembling a vast selection of stories across the web, to publish “even more stories, better and faster than ever.” Meanwhile, Daily Mail reporters will be free to focus on exclusives, in-depth analysis and reporting, they added.

The announcement did not address long-standing questions about the digital strategy of DMGT, the titles’ publisher, which is owned and managed by Lord Rothermere. In addition to Mailonline, which is read by 24.7 million people a month for free and includes articles from the Mail newspapers, it offers Mail+, which charges a subscription for the same material.

Douglas McCabe, an industry expert at Enders Analysis, said: “The Mail is unique: it has the most successful print newspaper and an extremely successful online service, but the two circles in the Venn diagram are surprisingly far apart.

“Bringing them together is a huge organizational and cultural challenge, but only necessary from an economic point of view. While the Mail has the biggest challenge of all publishers, it also has one of the biggest opportunities in the media industry.

The footprint Daily mail declined more slowly than its rivals, and in 2020 it exceeded The sun become Britain’s best-selling newspaper. However, the decline in the print advertising market has accelerated this year as the economic outlook has darkened and the cost of newsprint has risen sharply as producers grapple with soaring energy costs. .

Merging the editorial resources of the Daily mail and Mailonline comes days after Lord Rothermere, former chairman of DMGT, also assumed responsibility for its day-to-day operations following the departure of chief executive Paul Zwillenberg. In recent years, the pair has overseen a trading information unit sale that raised billions of pounds and culminated in DMGT being delisted from the stock market last year.

The Rothermere family owns all the shares in the private company, which has its roots in the founding of the Daily Mail in 1896 by Alfred and Harold Harmsworth, Lord Rothermere’s great-grandfather.