News editor Luke McIlveen to defect to the Mail Online

Mail Online logoEditor of Australia’s most read news website Luke McIlveen has left News Corp Australia, Mumbrella can reveal.

Mumbrella understands McIlveen will take up the role of editor of the Mail Online, which last week announced it would launch in Australia in 2014.

McIlveen has been editor of the website since 2012, during that time he moved it from the third most read website to the first. Mi9 and News Corp Australia both declined to comment on the move, however the defection comes as a surprise with many News Corp insiders having tipped McIlveen for a senior newspaper editorship in the coming years.

He is a former chief of staff of the Daily Telegraph and editor of News’s daily suburban newspaper the Manly Daily.

It is unclear when he would be free to take up the role, with the potential for a legal battle between News and the Mail Online over his start date. However, upon taking the role his first task will be recruit and bed-in an editorial staff of 50 journalists.

In a Google hangout with Mumbrella last week Mail Online publisher and editor-in-chief Martin Clarke said of his search for an editor: “I will not be appointing someone based on their political views. The political agenda isn’t the most important thing. We’re not about setting political agendas and ramming them down people’s throats.”

He added: “I will expect the Australian editor to lead that team and be able to grow and mould and train a team.

“This isn’t going to be some sort of semi-detached operation, it’s going to be fully integrated within the global Mail Online operation.

“I like to move people around and I’m hoping we might find someone who may be able to help grow us in Britain, America and everywhere else in the world.”

He also flagged an intention to have “some” editorial in place by the New Year, but indicted it might be a “soft” rollout as it starts to build out its editorial team and “gradually turn the tap on” and have the entire team in place “by the middle of next year”.

Nic Christensen 


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.