Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood dismissed any immediate threat from the launch of a local news website by UK newspaper The Guardian.
‘‘The Guardian is an extremely good brand in some suburbs of London, it’s not a strong competitive brand in Australia,’’ Mr Hywood told analysts on a conference call for the first half financial results of Fairfax, publisher of this website.
‘‘The brands that dominate the public agenda in this country are Fairfax brands, and to give our direct competitors credit, News Ltd brands. ‘‘They have had the relationship with the audience, they have the depth of the journalism, and the credibility.
‘‘My view is that while I respect The Guardian as a publication in a competitive sense its brand value lies offshore and not in this market.’’
The Guardian is setting up a local news website to capitalise on its Australian audience which forms one of its largest sources of international readers.
Katharine Viner, who was previously the deputy editor of the paper, is leading The Guardian’s Australia team in a joint venture with Graeme Wood, the founder of accommodation website Wotif.com and backer of non-profit, online media venture The Global Mail.
About two-thirds of The Guardian's 70 million unique browsers worldwide are from outside the UK, with about 1.3 million based in Australia. The Guardian launched a US digital operation in 2011.