The Guardian is to open a Melbourne office and launch a new hiring spree, with its overall Australian staff to grow to more than 50 in the coming weeks, Mumbrella can reveal.
The opening of the Melbourne office comes nine months after the UK masthead officially launched its Australian presence.
“We launched in May last year and had an extremely warm reception,” Ian McClelland, the managing director of Guardian Australia, told Mumbrella. “Our traffic has grown, the amount of page views per visitor has grown and we feel we have been welcomed with open arms.”
“Kath (Viner) and the team have done a remarkable job being high up on the news agenda and breaking some stories and having some terrific exclusives. That has really helped us be front of mind.”
The major expansion sees The Guardian advertising for a variety of positions including reporters and a subeditor in Melbourne as well as commercial roles including a brand partnerships coordinator and team, a marketing manager as well as a number of other positions.
“We have grown much quicker than we anticipated, revenues have been better than anticipated and so we felt there are no reason not to grow and expand the business quicker than we had originally planned for and that’s why we are advertising for 12 new roles and opening the office in Melbourne.”
“It is a mixture of commercial and editorial roles,” he said. “We have recently hired some producers but we are looking for a technology director and a whole lot of editorial roles and commercial roles.”
McClelland confirmed that the current office has grown to close to 40 staff across sales and editorial and that this new expansion would see them exceeding 50 staff.
“We are already at 40 and we are thinking about how long is it going to be before we run out of space in the Sydney office,” he said.
Since its launch The Guardian has moved in and out of the Nielsen Online Ratings top 10 but has consistently maintained that Nielsen is under representing its growth in audience.
“We are working with Nielsen on the unique audience figure and we believe we are under-represented by that figure”, said McClelland. “We think it has something to do with the lack of a mobile panel and we have a heavy mobile audience that can be 30 or 40 per cent during the week and up to 50 per cent during the weekend.”
Earlier this month industry body the Interactive Advertising Bureau said it was preparing for a new tender for the online audience measurement figures which would be expected to include mobile audience.