Seven West Media is set to launch The Nightly, a new digital newspaper speaking to Australia’s “mainstream middle” with a major early advertising partner in controversial mining billionaire Gina Rinehart.
The Nightly has also pinched several current and former News Corp staff for its launch at the end of this month. Along with the website, there will be a free digital newspaper every evening. A spokesperson for Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting confirmed the deal.
A senior member of staff at the nascent newspaper spoke anonymously to the Sydney Morning Herald saying that it would be looking to take readers from Murdoch’s The Australian and Nine’s Australian Financial Review.
An advertising pitch deck touted a focus on politics, policy, business and culture, according to the SMH.
The paper will be led by editor-in-chief of West Australian Newspapers Anthony De Ceglie and headquartered from the offices of The West Australian. His colleague, business editor Sarah-Jane Tasker has been appointed editor of the new title, while former editor-in-chief of The Australian Chris Dore has joined as senior political columnist. Dore left News Corp last year after allegedly making lewd comments to a woman at a company event.
The Saturday Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph associate editor Sarah Blake is set to be The Nightly‘s chief correspondent, along with Daily Telegraph associate editor Matthew Quagliotto joining in the same position.
Investigative journalist Kristin Shorten from The Australian, former news.com.au culture writer Wenlei Ma and The West Australian’s chief of staff Kate Phillips and sports editor Ben McLellan have also joined.
Half of the 12-strong launch team are based in Sydney, half in Perth. The publication will also lean on content from across all of Seven’s newsrooms, according to the SMH.
“Our lives have never been busier and human behaviour has changed as a result. Your mornings are chaotic and your ‘me time’ is now at night,” a pitch deck quotes De Ceglie as saying.
“But that time is still precious and The Nightly helps you spend it wisely.”
A spokesman for Hancock Prospecting declined to confirm further details on the commercial deal following speculation the company had underwritten the launch of the project, but did confirm it would advertise in The Nightly.
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