U.K. Tabloid Daily Mail’s U.S. Web Boss Out After Less Than a Year

Published on August 23, 2011
by Peter Kafka

The man who is supposed to help British tabloid The Daily Mail establish itself in the U.S. has left, after less than a year on the job.

Matthew Kearney, whose title had been CEO of U.S. for MailOnline, the Daily Mail’s popular Web site, says he left the company voluntarily, because “I have completed my task.”

Kearney joined MailOnline last November as it was building out an American advertising and editorial team; he had previously run Screenvision, which sells ads in movie theaters.

The Web site’s business staff of 10 will now report to MailOnline publisher Martin Clarke, who splits time between London and New York, Kearney says.

“My task was to establish the online operations in the U.S., get its editorial offices up and running, and hire the commercial operations,” he says. Now, Kearney says, MailOnline’s U.S. team “doesn’t need a geographic senior management team. It just needs one general manager.”

Kearney’s description of his departure will surprise some of MailOnline’s U.S. staff, who believe he was let go this summer. I’ve asked MailOnline reps for comment but haven’t heard back yet.

Not up for dispute: MailOnline has had a huge and welldocumented surge in popularity in recent years. That has been driven in part by coverage the site has generated from its Los Angeles bureau, and in part from American readers who go to the site, even if they’re unfamiliar with its British roots.

Comscore says American traffic to MailOnline has shot up from 10 million monthly uniques a year ago to 16 million last month. Worldwide, the site now generates 41 million uniques, and it is closing the gap on the New York Times, which has the globe’s most popular site, with 46 million uniques.

Kearney’s job was to sell the site to American advertisers, and to replace ads sold by networks with ones sold in-house. In June, Digiday reported that he was “close to landing several sponsors.”

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