Commentary

UK's 'Telegraph' Adds Newsroom Jobs As Subscriptions Grow 39%

Amid countless reports about the relentless job cuts at publishers, I was surprised to read the Telegraphin the U.K. planned to hire 60 people during the first half of the year. The influential conservative newspaper has been steadily adding digital subscribers, more than offsetting print declines.
The newspaper's paid digital circulation jumped 82% from a year earlier to about 402,000 by the end of February, according to its latest data. Print circulation slipped 6.9% to about 192,000 during that period, but it's likely many readers opted for a version they could read on a smartphone. Total paid circulation expanded 39% to more than 594,000, putting it on course to exceed 600,000 by the end of last month.
As part of its "subscriber-first" strategy, the Telegraph is aiming for 1 million paying readers by 2023. It also wants to expand its number of online registrants from the current level of 6.12 million to at least 10 million during that period.
The Telegraph's subscription growth shows signs of creating a virtuous cycle in which higher circulation revenue supports spending on journalism that keeps people coming back. Its website reported the second-highest day for subscriber visits when the U.K. government announced a plan for pandemic lockdowns, a sign of how the health crisis continues to drive the news cycle.
The paper's job openings included an investigative reporter, homepage producer, social-media editor and newsletter editor, the Press Gazette reported. Some of the 60 jobs already had been filled, while others hadn't been advertised yet. Either way, it's encouraging to see a press outlet that's adding headcount as the global economy continues to reopen after a year of restrictions on business activity.

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