The Star today announced huge growth of its online audience as its parent company revealed the appointment of a new digital leader.
Jeff Moriarty, vice president of digital products for The Boston Globe, is the new chief digital and product officer for Johnston Press, publisher of flagship titles including The Star, Yorkshire Post and The Scotsman.
He is also general manager of Boston.com and he designed the award-winning BostonGlobe.com - considered to be one of the most successful regional subscription-based sites in the US.
Jeff, who is set to further drive digital revenues and audience numbers, will relocate to the UK and join the company at the end of April.
His appointment comes as The Star also celebrated soaring online figures with almost seven million visitors last year - up by more than 31 per cent,
They looked at 55.5 million pages, a year-on-year growth of 10 per cent.
Last month alone The Star had 622,781 unique users, up 60 per cent on December 2012, looking at almost five million pages.
The Star regularly attracts well over 40,000 visitors a day, viewing more than 150,000 pages. Last week included a record breaking 114,000 visitors in just one day.
Our increased use of multi-media continues to play a key role in The Star’s online success, with video featuring in many of our most popular web stories, including crime, other hard news, sport, weather and showbiz reports.
More than a quarter of a million visitors viewed almost one million video stories at thestar.co.uk last month.
The Star web tablet app, allowing The Star to be read for free on the iPad, Kindle Fire and Android web tablets, is also proving a huge success with an average of more than 1,000 downloads a month - now standing at a total of 13,341 downloads. Get the app now - CLICK HERE.
In addition we sell 28,000 copies of The Star six days a week, Monday to Saturday. To subscribe and take up our money saving offers - CLICK HERE.
Editor James Mitchinson said: “The Star goes from strength to strength with its unrivalled news and sport coverage.
“We’re delighted with our success and would like to thank all readers for their support.”
Kelly Diver, The Star’s digital manager, welcomed Jeff Moriarty’s appointment and said: “It is another positive step for the continued growth of Johnston Press digital.
“The Star has always been at the heart of the local community and this is echoed in the strength and month on month growth of its digital audience.”
Johnston Press chief executive officer Ashley Highfield acknowledged how digital revenues are growing throughout the group.
He said: “Jeff was an outstanding candidate and the knowledge, experience, insight and innovation that he will bring to Johnston Press will help us forge ahead with our ambitious growth plans.
“Our digital revenues have grown by 60 per cent and in many parts of the UK they now account for 20 per cent of our overall advertising revenues. Jeff’s exceptional track record will ensure our growth continues and I very much look forward to welcoming him aboard.”
Jeff’s innovative product development is underpinned by a journalistic background. He has had a broad career across regional newspapers and digital media. Beginning as a founding editor of a weekly newspaper and later a metro news editor, he launched the earliest regional websites in the Times, later building niche products Winetoday.com on California wines and Golfdigest.com for the sport’s top magazine.
At nytimes.com, he built an industry-leading Manhattan real estate site as well as verticals in autos and jobs. Returning to the Times’ regional group, he helped grow the digital businesses across 14 newspaper markets across the US. He joined About.com in 2009 and brought that site new mobile, video and advertising offerings before joining The Boston Globe in 2010.