Mail Online appoints general manager for Australia and New Zealand



Mi9 and ninemsn boss Mikaela Lancaster will lead commercial operations for The Daily Mail Australia and New Zealand as general manager from January 6, Nine Entertainment has confirmed.

The head of strategic partners and specialists platforms for Mi9 has worked for Nine’s digital arm for around 10 years and has held a range of roles involving commercial leadership, product management and consumer marketing. She has also worked for digital company Dada and Universal Music.

As general manager of the Mail Online, Lancaster will report to the Daily Mail and Mail Online board of Nine CEO David Gyngell, Mi9 CEO Mark Britt, Martin Clarke, global publisher of the Mail Online, and a director from the Daily Mail group yet to be named. The editorial team, yet to be confirmed, will report directly to Clarke.

The Mail Online claims a global readership of 57.3m monthly unique visitors around the world and the Australian publication will be staffed by 50 journalists who will be gradually recruited throughout the year, making it the country’s biggest online news operation.

Nine has not yet confirmed who will lead the editorial team, and whether their coverage will extend outside of Australia and New Zealand, although Mumbrella understands former editor Luke McIlveen has landed the job.

Lancaster said they will be targeting a broad demographic likely to skew towards women as the site does in the UK and the US.

Britt said: “If you have the aspiration of being the leading news site in Australia you need to be unapologetically mass market so what you see will reflect community values and have the likely skew to females as the global brand position does. Other than that I think it’s fairly broad in appeal.”

He added: “When you look at the track record of the Daily Mail in the UK and the US launch a few years ago, what you’re seeing is fairly rapid growth to a market leadership position in many markets and a very strong competitive position in the US, I think we’ll see and can expect a similar trajectory here and I think we’ll follow that from a consumer point of view.”

Lancaster will be working with Mi9’s general sales team and hire four dedicated specialist sales staff to drive commerce for the site.

The url which has already gone live and currently leads to the UK site, is already displaying Australian ads and Lancaster and her team will ramp this up from early next year.

She said they will start taking agencies and advertisers through the opportunities from early next year, selling premium brand advertising and will introduce the header and footer kit for advertisers to be part of the ninemsn network, which Lancaster said  will immediately drive traffic to grow the Daily Mail audience.

“From the beautiful high impact ads to native advertising, which the Daily Mail have started to explore with great success, right through to the affiliate, integrated, non-standard type placement, there’s a wealth of opportunities,” she said.

“The brands that have been great success with the UK and US globally are already approaching us to come on board as soon as we launch.

“And we’ve got a strong base already between the one and one and a half million Australians and they’re already visiting twice a day so the focus will be on driving that sticky, addictive Daily Mail audience as they’ve done in the UK and in the US.”

She added: “The business discipline that I’ve learned from working so closely with Microsoft will help me in this new role but it is a start-up which is really exciting as well. We’re being backed by these two powerhouses but it’s essentially a start-up that I’ve got no doubt will succeed. We’ve got pretty aggressive targets but they’re realistic. I’m confident that we will be a leading player in this market.”

Megan Reynolds


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