MNA appoint new head of digital

The Midland News Association, publisher of Britain’s best selling regional newspaper the Express & Star, has appointed a new head of digital.

Will Beavis MNA 2

The Midland News Association, publisher of Britain’s best selling regional newspaper the Express & Star, has appointed a new head of digital.

Will Beavis, who has been the MNA’s new media marketing manager since 2006, will be responsible for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star websites, along with iPad and iPhone applications, mobile phone sites and weekly newspaper and magazine websites.

The latest ABCe audit figures showed the MNA had the UK’s biggest regional website network traffic increase, with a 29.1 per cent year on year rise in the number of average daily unique users to 59,640.

MNA managing director Phil Inman said: “Will has undertaken the role on an interim basis over the past four months, during which time the digital team has made significant progress.

“A number of exciting projects are in the pipeline for further development over the remainder of the year.

“Will’s appointment means we can look forward to continuing to giving a great service to the MNA’s electronic audience and advertisers.”

Will Beavis said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this role as online platforms have become increasingly important to the MNA in its transition to becoming a multi-media publisher.

“The recent ABCe figures were very pleasing and our focus remains on increasing digital revenues. I look forward to leading the team in the challenge of continuing to grow online advertising alongside the development of other commercial opportunities.”

In the ABCe results, Expressandstar.com saw the biggest increase in average monthly traffic to record 788,444 unique users, a 35.6 per cent rise compared to the same period in 2010. Shropshirestar.com saw a 26.5 per cent year on year increase to 359,989.

The results, for July to December 2011, showed Expressandstar.com saw a 32.8 per cent year on year rise in average daily unique users to 44,786, with Shropshirestar.com up 23.2 per cent to 16,969 daily uniques.

Innovative iPad and iPhone applications, which allow subscribers to turn the pages of digital editions of the evening newspapers, were launched in January.