MEDIA: Raft of editorial hires at AOL

Internet service provider AOL UK has made a raft of editorial

appointments to its 21 relaunched news, business and entertainment

channels.



Steve Lodge, who reported for the Daily Express business desk until last

year, will start as editor of AOL UK's Your Money channel next week. He

reports to Alan Griffin, head of Your Money, broadband and wireless

content, who was instrumental in the relaunch.



Group editorial director Anne Alexander said: 'Steve is passionate about

explaining finance to a mass audience. We have repositioned the channel

to broaden its appeal and will be looking at more stories on mortgages

and insurance.' The ISP has 1.5 million subscribers.



Meanwhile Tony Cross has been made deputy editor, AOL UK entertainment

group. He will be in overall charge of Entertainment, Teens, Games and

AOL Live. His previous jobs have included being publisher of The Face,

editor of more! and features editor of Smash Hits. He reports to Kate

Hall, head of the AOL entertainment group.



Hannah Verdier, former Smash Hits deputy editor, starts as editor of the

Teens channel next week. 'The Teens channel has not been as robust as it

could be with a full-time editor,' Alexander admitted.



A Parenting channel will be launched in the next few weeks. It is likely

to be edited by Paul Sansome, who is also Health editor. It is being

launched by executive editor Lorie Parch, who was part of the launch

team for US site Parents.com.



Announcements of a new deputy editor of the news group and Technology

channel editor are expected in the next two months. Alexander said a

head of content is also close to being appointed. The last person to

hold this post, Andy Bull, resigned suddenly in October 2001.



Mark Drasutis has been made editorial operations manager of AOL UK,

overseeing the organisation's 80 journalists.



Alexander said PROs would be welcome to bounce content proposals off all

members of the new team. 'We are very open to suggestions and ideas,'

she said.



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