News claims 26% subs growth as first rebuilt website launches

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News Corp has launched the first of a series of new digital products with a rebuilt website for South Australia's The Advertiser.

The move responds to changes following News' closure of numerous print mastheads and the launch of new websites, many of them providing new and additional competition for existing independent and ACM titles.

Rebuilds for the (Sydney) Daily Telegraph, (Melbourne) Herald Sun and (Brisbane) Courier-Mail are to follow, and are expected to reflect feed-in from closed and digital-only mastheads in what executive chairman Michael Miller calls - with modest understatement - "a year of transformation".

News claims its revenue from digital subscriptions has grown 26 per cent.

Chief technology officer Julian Delany says the websites - which have been built on WordPress VIP - will be faster, more intuitive and easier to navigate, putting users "only ever one click away from their area of interest".

Miller says operations have been reshaped to better meet the needs of audiences and clients to grow subscriber numbers and simplify our structures to be less complex for advertisers to leverage.

"Now we're increasing our investment in digital innovation," he says.

Delaney says new digital experiences being unveiled were guided by extensive customer research. "They asked for speed and we've delivered, by building one of the quickest-to-load news sites of any publisher, anywhere."

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