Nick Hugh: News Media Reaching Bigger Audiences Than Ever Before

News media is reaching bigger audiences than ever before across print and digital and Telegraph Media Group is “supremely confident” that it has found a business model which will sustain quality journalism “long into the future,” the publisher’s chief executive Nick Hugh has said.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Nick said he was confident that digital would make up for print losses and the company had more than 2.5 million registered customers and was aiming for 10 million within three to five years.

Nick said: “We have today the biggest audience that we’ve ever had so we have more people reading Telegraph editorial than we ever have done in the past. We have a higher number of registrants than we’ve ever done in the past.  And we have more subscribers today across print and digital than we’ve ever done in the past.   

“There are really three key points to our strategy. The first is quality journalism, we’re making sizable investments in quality journalism in specific areas and we‘ve seen phenomenal success over the last couple of years.

The publisher announced a £10m annual investment in data, technology, brand marketing and other areas, with 100 jobs created in total across the business including hiring an extra 39 journalists.

Talking about the investment in journalism, Nick said: “If you think about the work that Bryony Gordon did around Mad World with Prince Harry etc, if you look at the sports doping investigation and Gatlin, if you look at some of our Brexit and election coverage, and we’re seeing the results of that through some of the consumer numbers that I shared around registrants and subscribers.”

Nick said that consumers fully understood the value exchange when they registered with the Telegraph and that process enabled the publisher to better understand what consumers are interested in.

He added: “In the end, structurally, there are significant changes going on in the industry so we believe that we have found a model that will enable us to sustain quality journalism long into the future and that is good for all of us from a society perspective as well as from a democracy perspective.”

Nick said he believed that online revenues could be grown to balance out losses from print. “We’ve passed the first phase where we set out the strategy, we laid out where we are investing, now we’re in what I would call revenue stabilisation, so still with that investment, looking to stabilise top line revenues, and then profits will follow.

“Having spent 20 plus years in the online world, I am supremely confident our company and the Telegraph as a whole is executing faster than we expected against our strategy and we are very confident that we have the model for quality journalism long into the future.”