MailOnline Hires BuzzFeed Vet Jon Steinberg to Lead North America Push

No. 2 Newspaper Site in the U.S. Trying to Raise Its Profile Among Advertisers

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Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg

Former BuzzFeed President and Chief Operating Officer Jon Steinberg has been named CEO for North America at MailOnline, the top newspaper site in the English-speaking world and No. 2 in the U.S., where it trails only The New York Times.

Mr. Steinberg said last month that he was leaving his post at BuzzFeed, which he joined in 2010 and helped build into a leader in selling sponsored content to advertisers, a trend that many others are now emulating.

He told Ad Age in May that he was leaving BuzzFeed is to do "something entrepreneurial in the media space." Though MailOnline is popular, its United States ad business in particular remains an opportunity for growth. CEO for North America is a newly created position, a spokesman said.

MailOnline has previously emphasized getting visitors to visit its homepage regularly rather than finding the site sporadically through social media. That's in contrast to BuzzFeed, whose posts, lists and quizzes are engineered to be shared and passed around.

MailOnline appreciates viral traffic, MailOnline Publisher Martin Clarke told Ad Age last fall. "But really what we're about is the big homepage," he said. "We do stories that we think are going to work on our home page, which is why we don't do '31 Things To Do Before Breakfast.'"

On Sunday, Mr. Clarke said Mr. Steinberg would help MailOnline build its audience and business in North America and beyond. "Jon is the perfect person to lead the charge as we grow and mature as a product in the U.S. and also to help us expand globally," he said in a statement.

"Jon is the perfect person to do this by seeking out new investments and initiatives to grow the MailOnline's audience, while ensuring that our advertising clients reach their customers no matter what the channel -- web, mobile, video and social," Mr. Clarke added.

Mr. Steinberg said he had been impressed by MailOnline's rapid growth. "MailOnline's big American audience is formidable and over the past couple of years, they have made a major investment in their U.S. editorial and business teams," he said in the statement.

He said he looked forward to pitching marketers and agencies on the site. "I also look forward to developing innovative ad solutions with the advertising community -- combining the very best of native and display formats," Mr. Steinberg added.

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