Dr Mumbo

Fairfax’s guide of who to poach from the Australian Financial Review

Ever wondered who the most read journalists on the Australian Financial Review’s website are?

Well wonder no more – thanks to an administrative bungle this table charting “Top authors by subscriber pageviews”, which was only meant to be shared with senior editors, was shared with all staff, and subsequently with Dr Mumbo via the back of a truck.

Top 25 journos

Click to enlarge.

Unsurprisingly the AFR’s Street Talk writers, editor Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Jake Mitchell dominate the top of the charts in terms of traffic, leaving the likes of the much bigger journalistic names, such as Canberra gallery stalwarts Laura Tingle and Phillip Coorey, in their wake. The trio almost always have joint by-lines, hence their proximity on the table.

While the popularity of the financial newspaper’s column on the latest market movements, joint ventures etc, is of little surprise, Dr Mumbo can only imagine what the much loved and/or hated (depending on how recently he has written about you) Rear Window columnist Joe Aston made of coming in at number eight…

Of course such a table might be of interest to anyone eyeing which journalists might be good to poach. Could this lead to a Mitchell family reunion between Jake and The Australian’s editor Chris at Holt Street for example?

He’s sure those at the top of this digital beauty league table all immediately asked for pay rises as a result of their substantial contributions to the AFR’s digital strategy and long term viability…

Meanwhile spare a thought for poor tech editor Paul Smith who Dr Mumbo is sure will be more than a little disappointed at coming in at 25th, especially given his readers should be pretty digitally savvy.

Unfortunately it’s also no good for getting to the bottom of the elusive question of how much traffic the AFR.com.au gets, as someone has cropped off the pageview axis along the way.

Update Friday, May 15:

It seems the numbers have riled some at Fairfax HQ, with an anonymous ‘Fairfax insider’ claiming the above table is “statistically meaningless” as it was “simply total page views by writers rather than page views per article”.

They also included a list of the top ten journos ranked by page views per article are:
1. Laura Tingle
2. Phil Coorey
3. Jonathon Shapiro
4. Christopher Joye
5. Street Talk team
6. Neil Chenoweth
7. Mark Latham
8. Jacob Greber
9. Tony Boyd
10. Joe Aston

But they don’t stop there – claiming “inside the AFR influence and agenda-setting are highly prized” adding the “most valuable writers are regarded by management as being in no particular order”:

* Phil Coorey – one of Australia’s top political journos
* Sarah Thomson – Street Talk is constantly breaking price-sensitive deals
* Christopher Joye – the most influential banking/finance policy guy in the country
* Jonny Shaprio – the best deep-dive finance journo in Oz
* Jacob Greber – consistently high quality econ news coverage
* Neil Chenoweth – for ability to break agenda-creating news
* Jenni Hewett – centre-right opinion anchor for paper
* Tony Boyd – strong Chanticleer columnist that defends top end of town
* Joe Aston – has made Rear Window a must-read

Dr Mumbo notes he cannot account for the provenance of these latest set of claims.


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