Huffington Post continues hiring blitz with Australian site set to launch next month

The Huffington Post is set to launch its local operation next month with a new team set to start in their roles next week, Mumbrella understands.

The publisher is now in the midst of a hiring blitz and has already secured more than ten staff to work under former News Corp Australia opinion editor Tory Maguire who will head the editorial side of the operation and former Allure Media CEO Chris Janz to head commercial operations..

Among the hires are assistant Daily Mail editor Chris Paine and supervising producer Nicolette Logue as news editors; former executive producer of video at AAP Tom Compagnoni who will lead its video content; and experienced former ABC and SBS political reporter Karen Barlow, who will be the local Huffpo’s political editor.



Tom Compagnoni




Other hires include Leigh Campbell beauty director at Bauer as lifestyle editor; Emily Blatchford from IF magazine as associate lifestyle editor; former News Corp property editor Chris Harrison as blog editor; Amie Rigas associate producer at Bauer, as engagement editor and Emily Verdouw who worked in video strategy at MamaMia and is now associate video editor.

Maguire is also understood to have started her role as editor-in-chief this week following a period of maternity leave.

The online publication is a joint venture between AOL and Fairfax’s digital ventures division.

Fairfax Media would not be drawn on the multiple hirings or the timeframe for the local launch, but Mumbrella understands the team will be taking half the floor of new offices in Bridge Street, Sydney – with room for around 50 staff. That floor will be shared with Fairfax subsidiary Allure Media, publishers of Business Insider, Gizmodo, Lifehacker and Pop Sugar.

The new Huffpo operation is likely to follow the lead of other recent online insurgents, such as The Guardian, Daily Mail and Buzzfeed, and launch with a small core staff of 10-20 before scaling up over the coming months.

It is still hiring for key positions including: weekend editors, subeditors, a sport editor and general news reporters.



Last week the online news operation drew headlines after media commentator and creative director Dee Madigan criticised them for an unsolicited approach from blog editor Harrison to write for the new operation for free. 

Madigan describe the request as “insulting” arguing that the for profit venture should its pay writers.

In February, Fairfax was named above several other local players in the market as the launch partner for the AOL owned news site, a move which has been delayed several times since it was first mooted in 2011.  At the time it was thought that Huffington Post Australia would launch in the second quarter of the year.



In making the announcement Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington said: “It’s not only a milestone in HuffPost’s global expansion – we are now in 14 countries, on six continents – but a tremendous opportunity to expand our global conversation.

“Fairfax’s independent values, proud journalistic heritage and digital expertise make them the perfect partner as we pursue our shared mission of telling Australia’s most important stories and providing a platform for Australians to tell their stories.”

Nic Christensen 


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