Murdoch’s Pick to Run The New York Post Bets On the Web and Celebs

Rupert Murdoch took a top editor from his cheeky and conservative London tabloid The Sun and hired him to run his bold and conservative New York tabloid, The New York Post.

Keith Poole, a 44-year-old Englishman who has redesigned The Sun’s website for the past few years, started as the Post’s editor-in-chief on March 22. Most employees have not heard from him since then, said two Post employees.

He had lunch with Emily Smith, longtime editor of The Post’s Gossip franchise, but had yet to make an all-hands video call to greet the employees who were working remotely or an email greeting two people said and spoke on condition of anonymity to uncover internal matters. For some employees, the only evidence of the new boss’s presence was the addition of his name to the main newsroom channel on Slack, the messaging app.

A spokeswoman for The Post said in an email that Mr. Poole would get to know the team in his own way: “Keith has met a number of Post employees in person, via video call and over the phone (as most of them work from there) home), and he’s had lunch with other coworkers, not just Emily. “

Mr. Poole effectively replaced Col Allan, an Australian tabloid specialist who retired in March after more than 40 years with Murdoch Papers.

Mr. Poole has more experience attracting online readers than his predecessor. Before joining The Sun as a digital editor in 2016, he helped make The Daily Mail’s U.S. website a must-have for fans of celebrity gossip.

“At The Sun, it’s all you focus on,” said Chris Spargo, a reporter who worked for both of Mr. Poole’s previous employers. Mr Poole also sees The Daily Mail as the Post’s main competitor, said several people with knowledge of the Post’s newsroom.

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April 23, 2021 at 1:31 p.m. ET

A former colleague said Mr. Poole did not fit the stereotype of the gruff, boisterous tabloid editor.

“Keith is charming and has that British joke,” said David Martosko, former US political editor at The Daily Mail who is now Senior Content Executive at Zenger News. “More people in our business should adopt his collaborative editing style.”

His responsibilities include not only the now profitable New York tabloid, which Mr. Murdoch took out of bankruptcy in the 1990s, but also the larger New York Post Group. These include the Post Digital Network, which consists of the newspaper’s website, a separate website for page 6, the entertainment website Decider.com, and the advertising agency Post Studios.

Mr. Poole, who studied at Loughborough University in England, came to New York after most postal workers had worked from home for more than a year. At least eight Post journalists have recently left, including White House correspondent Ebony Bowden and editor-in-chief Maggie Coughlan.

Recognition…New York Post

Mr. Poole, who refused to be interviewed, worked for The Daily Mail from 2003 to 2016, spending part of that time in New York as the chief editor of the US website DailyMail.com. Within two years of working for Mr. Murdoch at The Sun, he had made his website the UK’s largest online brand. Last year he was appointed deputy editor-in-chief.

In a 2018 interview, Mr Poole said he focused on five key areas: news, celebrity, football, money, and women’s lifestyle. While at The Sun, he met frequently with Robert Thomson, the executive director of Mr. Murdoch’s newspaper company News Corp, who was often in the London office before the pandemic, said three people with knowledge of the relationship.

Under Mr. Allan, The Post specialized in celebrity news and coverage in the city, but also championed former President Donald J. Trump and attacked his rivals. Under Mr. Poole, the newspaper continued to focus on celebs and liberal villains, the April 16 front page suggested. The left side showed Jennifer Lopez in a revealing costume under the heading “Inside J-Rod’s Breakup”. On the right a headline blew the Democrats: “PACK RATS. Backlash as Dems attempt to take over the Supreme Court. “

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