All of a sudden it’s go-go-go at the Guardian – proof, if any were needed, that a few hundred million in your back pocket helps.
This is the fortunate position the Guardian, a perennially unprofitable UK media oprganisation, finds itself in having sold its half share in used car business Auto Trader for around £700m.
Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger isn’t a man to leave such money burning a hole in said pocket (however much CEO Andrew Miller might like him to) and, following expansion into Australia, the Guardian is upping its game in New York with the hire of MEC executive Eamonn Store (left) to run its US operation. The company also plans to open a West Coast office.
Store, a Brit, was president of agency development at MEC and a board member. He began his career at Carat in London in 1988. The Guardian has also announced the appointment of Katharine Viner, currently overseeing its Australian operation, as US editor-in chief. Both start in September.
Store says: “As much as I will miss my MEC family, the opportunity to partner with Katharine to help shape the future of the Guardian brand in the US is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.”
The Guardian’s US website is doing well with over 20m visitors although it trails the New York Times and British rival Mail Online. The Guardian online is free, as is the Mail, unlike the various News Corp products which shelter behind paywalls.
Digital ad revenue is rising however (it helped the Guardian to cut some of its losses in its latest trading year) and editor-in-chief Rusbridger clearly feels that the point at which revenue catches up with costs – the celebrated ‘Rusbridger curve’ – is nigh.
Store, whose job at MEC was to forge relationships with big clients (he also looked after GE) will be a shrewd hire if he can bring some of his MEC contacts into the Guardian fold.