The Independent announced a number of senior editorial appointments in the US as part of a global expansion plan to build on its growing international readership and reputation. Joining the US team are Katie Davies as US Editor and John T Bennett as Washington DC Bureau Chief.
Davies returns to The Independent, where she previously worked on the news desk in London until 2012. She has spent the past seven years at MailOnline in New York, rising to the position of senior editor and helping to grow its digital audience in the US.
Bennett joins from Roll Call, where he has been White House correspondent for four years, having specialised in political analysis and reporting throughout his career.
In a change of role, Richard Hall will be relocated from his position as Middle East Correspondent in Beirut to become a Senior US Correspondent in New York.
These new positions further prove the ambitions of The Independent as a publisher of quality journalism for its readership in the US, now established as the title’s biggest market.
The Independent is currently hiring further reporting roles for its New York newsroom, including a Climate Correspondent, its first in the US and a position that will both speak to the passions of the title’s core readership and develop coverage of a subject that has long distinguished the brand in its home market.
These changes are made as part of newly appointed CEO Zach Leonard’s remit to continue the expansion of the digital title, particularly its North American audience. The Independent recently overtook The Guardian online to become the largest quality digital newsbrand in the UK, posting 24.5m UK unique visitors for the month of November according to Comscore figures, driven by its political reporting, analysis and comment.
In the US, its number of unique readers has increased by 40% in just 12 months with page impressions also jumping by 70%, demonstrating the potential for growth of a highly engaged audience. Current US Comscore figures, posted in November, place The Independent as a serious digital newsbrand ahead of Vice and Vox in the pure play market and closing in on Huff Post.
Christian Broughton, editor of The Independent, comments:
“As President Trump moves from impeachment to re-election campaign, and with an unprecedented focus on the climate crisis, the year ahead offers The Independent a golden opportunity to establish a reputation for truly independent, free-thinking journalism within the most dynamic news market of all. I can’t wait to work with Katie again, give John a broader platform on which to share his outstanding analysis, and provide Richard with a new territory for his endless energy and commitment to finding truly remarkable stories.”
Zach Leonard, CEO of The Independent, added:
“The US is a critical strategic – and the largest – market for The Independent. Investing in our growth there in the run up to the 2020 election and beyond will enrich our editorial and commercial proposition for our valuable audiences, advertisers and partners.”
ESI Media is the commercial division of the Evening Standard and The Independent. ESI Media has a monthly cross-platform UK reach of 24.5m adults. Evening Standard content is read by 2.4m people every day and the Independent is visited by over 90m global unique browsers each month.