MEDIA: Leedham takes on Express sites

Express Newspapers has poached Robert Leedham from his job as executive editor at Virgin Net, to take up the newly-created position of managing editor of its web sites.

Express Newspapers has poached Robert Leedham from his job as

executive editor at Virgin Net, to take up the newly-created position of

managing editor of its web sites.



The new role includes overseeing Megastar, the Daily Star site, which

has six million page impressions per month, SportLive and

express.co.uk.



Leedham also has a brief to develop two new projects, including a

lifestyle site. The second new project is being kept firmly under

wraps.



The new managing editor’s first coup was to poach Christina Hopkinson,

the launch editor of Associated Newspapers’ women’s site

Charlottestreet.com, to join his new media team, which currently

consists of 15 people. Hopkinson will join in November to work on the

new lifestyle project.



Reviewing the performance of Express Newspapers’ web sites, Leedham

said: ’Megastar is outperforming all expectations. SportsLive has

doubled its hits so far this year, but it’s still not fulfiling its

potential. The market has become much more competitive and we need to

give it a sense of personality.’



Ian Macrae, who joined Express Newspapers from Virgin Net earlier this

year as deputy editor of SportLive, has been promoted to site

editor.



He has been charged with revitalising the site, which includes coverage

from the Press Association as well as all the news, features and

columnists from the Express Newspapers.



Leedham’s appointment follows the promotion of Anne Mollen to a seat on

the Express board as new media director.



Mollen was originally head of business development, with new media as

part of that remit. In June, new media became a stand-alone department,

and Mollen took up her new post, focusing solely on new media as part of

Express Newspapers’ ongoing commitment to the area.



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