Ninemsn editor-in-chief and publisher Hal Crawford is set to depart the business to relocate to New Zealand to join MediaWorks as chief news officer, Mumbrella can reveal.
Crawford will remain with the business until the end of May, with Ninemsn managing editor Emma Chamberlain to assume Crawford’s responsibilities in running the editorial team, while product development and commercial partnership duties will be taken up by others in the digital arm of the Nine Entertainment Company.
Alex Parsons, chief digital and marketing officer at Nine Entertainment Co., said in a statement: “After almost 10 years and five different roles at Ninemsn, Hal Crawford, our editor-in-chief and publisher has resigned to take up a new position as chief news officer at MediaWorks in New Zealand.
“This is a great opportunity for Hal and, as both a friend and a colleague, I wish him all the very best in this new role. We do have an incredibly talented team here, the best in the business, and the team and business are in great hands under managing editor, Emma Chamberlain.”
Crawford joined Ninemsn as news editor in 2006, before being promoted to news executive producer in 2009. In 2011 he was made head of news and was promoted to editor-in-chief in January 2012. He added publisher to his title in February 2014.
He said in a statement: “I have seen the business transition from a joint-venture to a 100%-owned digital arm of a dynamic media company. Now it’s clear that Nine is committed to digital and digital will be key to the future of the company.
“When I began at Ninemsn, the Australian media landscape was very different. Since then, we’ve had profound changes stemming from changes in behaviour – in mobile, video and social networks. That level of change will continue to happen. I have had a wonderful run at Ninemsn and Nine, and I have to say I owe this company and my colleagues, past and present, a great deal.”
Before Ninemsn, Crawford was a lecturer at La Trobe University. Prior to that he spent two years as the online editor at Radio Netherlands. He also spent four years as a journalist at West Australian Newspapers.
During his tenure Crawford overhauled Ninemsn’s lifestyle offering, launching a refresh of the brand’s main lifestyle page along with three new properties. Crawford also relaunched the Ninemsn homepage in October 2014.
In October last year, Crawford published All Your Friends Like This, co-written with Domagoj Filipovic and Andrew Hunter.
He is also one of the 11 industry nominee members of the Australian Press Council.
Crawford’s departure follows the departure of Mi9 chief information officer Kelly Ferguson. Nine Entertainment has announced Mat Yelavich will take over her responsibilities.
Ferguson’s departure followed the departures of former COO Marc Barnett, commercial director Steve Geelan, Mi9 sales director Emma Jane Owens, head of data venture, Tipstone, Richard McLaren, head of research Gabbi Stubbs, director of TV Rebecca Haagsma and general counsel Emren Kara.
Crawford will replace MediaWorks’ head of news Mark Jennings