The Telegraph is investing millions of pounds in its newsroom, creating 60 jobs in the first half of 2021.
The investment comes after The Telegraph’s subscriber base surpassed 600,000 and overtook The Times.
The Telegraph reached 594,324 subscriptions across print and digital in February, of which 401,938 were in digital and 192,386 were print.
The Times had 335,000 digital subscribers as of the end of 2020.
The Telegraph is aiming to have 1m subscribers and 10m registrants signed up by 2023 and says the continued growth in its numbers show its strategy is paying off.
The 60 jobs on offer, some of which have already been filled and some of which are yet to be advertised, include an investigations reporter, homepage producer, digital edition content editor, audio producer, deputy digital picture editor, social media editor, evergreen content editor, newsletter editor, arts reporter and deputy comment editor.
Technology Intelligence disbanded
The biggest casualty of the investment, which is resulting in some reorganisation of the newsroom, is the standalone Technology Intelligence team which is to be folded into the business desk three years after its creation.
Press Gazette understands that of a team of about ten, management anticipate there is likely to be one redundancy with the rest of the team deployed to cover primarily either business or technology under business editor Chris Williams.
When launching the Technology Intelligence team in 2018, a project led by Sunday Telegraph editor Allister Heath with former Times deputy business editor Robin Pagnamenta hired as its head, the publisher said it was its aim to become “the leading UK publisher of technology journalism”.
Press Gazette understands this is still the vision but the title has decided to go about this in a different way.
A Telegraph Media Group spokesperson said: “Technology coverage remains integral to the Telegraph and we will continue to develop it as part of the business department.
“We continue to invest in journalism and are creating more than 60 new roles across editorial departments in the first half of this year, a multi-million pound investment.”
Telegraph print and digital production
In the week starting 23 March all of The Telegraph’s print content was produced and subbed by a team it directly employed – either in its Victoria newsroom or working from home because of lockdown – for the first time since 2009.
It ended its contract with PA, where most of its daily and Sunday pages had been produced for four years, after deciding it could best serve subscribers by centralising production expertise in one place. This has resulted in 24 new jobs at The Telegraph.
For seven years before PA took over some of this work was done by another third-party supplier, Pagemasters. The Telegraph always maintained a small core production team in its London office.
The Telegraph is also planning to introduce new digital production processes, ending the common practice of journalists self-publishing online to ensure subscribers see the best possible content.
The jobs currently being advertised include three digital sub-editors for the news teams, described as offering an “exciting challenge to make a real impact in driving subscriptions in a globally renowned organisation that puts quality first”.
Telegraph innovation unit
The Telegraph is also creating its first newsroom innovation team with the remit of helping it make better long-term decisions to reach its subscription goals.
Jobs being created for the unit so far include a head of newsroom innovation, newsroom innovation editor, innovation prototype, innovation project manager and researcher, and innovation analyst and test planner.
The adverts say they will aim to “generate and deliver new ideas across the newsroom, taking in everything from editorial verticals and propositions, to habit-forming product features, and storytelling and publishing tools”.
The Telegraph’s subscriber-first strategy has seen it pull out of ABC’s public auditing for print newspaper circulation, close its award-winning branded content division Spark, outsource all its print advertising sales to the Daily Mail group, and consider whether a new payment model could reward its journalists who attract and retain the most subscribers.
Picture: Eddie Mulholland/Telegraph