News DNA’s women’s content platform, Whimn to have New York newsroom

News Digital Networks Australia’s female-focused content platform, With Her In Mind Network, or, is set to have a New York newsroom, pitting the operation firmly against Mia Freedman’s Mamamia and New York-based Spring Street.

Felicity Harley , Ainslee O'Brien, Nicole Sheffield and Melissa Overman.

Felicity Harley , Ainslee O’Brien, Nicole Sheffield and Melissa Overman.

The site, which launches in March, will spearhead women’s content across News DNA’s network and will target three audience personas.

News DNA first announced the female-focused content platform in September last year, revealing the Whimn brand in November.

At NewsCorp’s first New Front last night, News DNA’s managing director, Nicole Sheffield, said the new brand will spearhead women’s content across the network and aims to become the “leading female destination”; however, she argued the network is not competing with Mamamia. will leverage off the female audiences already on sister sites such as,, and and provide “an inherently Australian offering with a global flavour, a 360 content offering that speaks to her mind and all aspects of her life”, according to a statement from NewsDNA.

The initiative will be overseen by Melissa Overman, executive editor at News DNA’s women’s network and Felicity Harley, editor of will also have a newsroom in New York headed up by former journalist Charlotte Willis, and will feature articles and commentary from Tara Moss, Jamila Rizvi, Edwina Bartholomew, Liane Moriaty, Lydia Lassila and James Duigan. also confirmed an exclusive content partnership with The Cut – New York Magazine.

Mia Freedman launched Spring Street, the New York-based sister site of Mamamia, in March last year as Flo + Frank, rebranding the site to Spring Street in September.

Speaking at the event last night, Sheffield said the key question to answer when launching a women’s platform was: “How do we connect with women in a meaningful way?”

“Connecting with women is actually not about launching a product. It’s not about a magazine or a TV show or even a website. It’s actually connecting with her,” she said.

With Her in Mind

News DNA is in a unique position to do this, she said, thanks to its position with its existing brands such as Taste, Delicious, Vogue and Body + Soul.

“We know women. We’re already connecting with more women than anyone else. But why are we only connecting through the lens of the category that serves them? What are we missing? And I have to tell you, I thought I knew everything there was to know about women… but what we were missing, what all of Australia is missing, is no one is actually connecting with her mind.

“We were letting her down. And there’s been a fundamental shift in Australian female audiences. They no longer want Toddlers and Tiaras, and they don’t want Kim Kardashian. They might read it, they might check it out, but I’m telling you, where they want to spend their time is in positive environments. They actually want empowerment and they want trust. They want authenticity. Now in this crazy world that we live in now, they want it more than ever before.”

Sheffield said female audiences had evolved and, as recently as one year ago, she would have been skeptical that’s strategy would drive audiences and traffic.

“But you know what I realised? This isn’t actually about what she reads. This is about what she shares – and what she shares says so much more about her values – and that becomes the essence of what we do.

“Because there is plenty of content out there in Australia that underestimates her and undervalues her, and probably polarises her – because hey, we all love a bitch fight right? But actually, the world has moved on. And when you actually have a look at the gap, it’s pretty significant because she has to go overseas to actually get content that nourishes her mind and her soul and she wants to spend time with.” will target three audience personas, all of whom are “dynamic, global consumers”: the high achiever, the young progressive and the opportunity seeker.

With Her In Mind Network's target audience:

With Her In Mind Network’s target audience: the high achiever, the young progressive and the opportunity seeker

The high achiever persona was exemplified by a video of ‘Daniela’, a 35-year old professional who loves “checking out the latest bars and restaurants in the city”.

“I really enjoy reading the news – anything about travel and finance, I can’t get enough of. I’ve got no time at all for tabloid journalism. I’m always checking Facebook and Insta, so I can stay in touch with friends and family around the world,” she said.

Sheffield said would be a female environment that women want to spend time in – a local site with a global flavour.


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