New editor and deputy editor announced for The Canberra Times as audience grows
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New editor and deputy editor announced for The Canberra Times as audience grows

The Canberra Times has appointed a new editorial leadership team of experienced Canberra journalists as it continues its audience growth.

Grant Newton was confirmed on Friday as editor of the capital's daily newspaper and leading breaking news website.

New editor of The Canberra Times Grant Newton.

New editor of The Canberra Times Grant Newton.

Scott Hannaford will be deputy editor and news director.

The announcements come as the Fairfax Media masthead recorded audience growth of two per cent year-on-year in the latest readership survey, with a total monthly audience of 774,000 across print and digital platforms in September.

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The Canberra Times's deputy editor and news director Scott Hannaford.

The Canberra Times's deputy editor and news director Scott Hannaford.

Newton, who has been on staff at The Canberra Times since 2001, has been acting editor for much of 2015.

He has previously held roles including features editor and deputy news director, and has been a central figure in the newsroom's efforts to build its online readership.

He succeeds James Joyce as editor. Joyce is now executive editor of Fairfax Media's Australian Community Media division.

Hannaford, an award-winning digital media journalist who began at The Canberra Times as a cadet reporter in 1999, was most recently senior writer and, before that, editor of The Sunday Canberra Times.

Former chief of staff for the Canberra Times, John-Paul Moloney has moved into a new role as group managing editor of the Canberra region.

Former chief of staff for the Canberra Times, John-Paul Moloney has moved into a new role as group managing editor of the Canberra region.

Hannaford has twice won awards for digital storytelling at the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association awards.

The appointments of Newton and Hannaford follow the recent appointments of John-Paul Moloney as group managing editor of the Canberra region and Meredith Clisby as editor of The Sunday Canberra Times and The Chronicle.

The Sunday Canberra Times' editor Meredith Clisby.

The Sunday Canberra Times' editor Meredith Clisby.

Moloney joined the newspaper as a cadet reporter and was a long-time member of the sport department before becoming chief of staff in 2011.

Clisby has reported for The Chronicle, The Sunday Canberra Times and has most recently been editor of the popular allhomes.com.au Saturday property magazine.

Editorial director of Australian Community Media Rod Quinn, formerly editor-in-chief of The Canberra Times, said the masthead had a strong leadership team to continue growing its audience.

"I'm confident this team of long-time Canberrans will continue The Canberra Times' proud tradition of compelling journalism and agenda-setting local news," Quinn said.

"In John-Paul, Grant, Scott and Meredith we have excellent leaders who are passionate about the city and about the quality journalism its residents depend on."

Newton said he felt privileged to be leading the masthead as it moved into its 90th year with an increasing focus on growing its mobile audience.

"Our journalism matters," Newton said.

"Just this week we've seen the head of ACT Policing open an investigation into a long-forgotten hit-and-run death because of the investigative work of reporter Christopher Knaus.

"The challenges in the industry are big, as are the opportunities. Our role in the community is as important as ever, whether it's campaigning to improve workplace safety, setting the agenda in covering the Mr Fluffy issue or breaking news at canberratimes.com.au."

The most recent monthly survey of newspaper readership by Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (emma), issued this week, showed readership in September down from near-record figures in August but up two per cent year-on-year.

Year-on-year digital audience growth in desktop (4 per cent), tablet (15 per cent) and mobile (55 per cent) more than offset a 7.6 per cent slip in monthly print audiences.

The desktop audience for canberratimes.com.au in September was 506,400, while 99,700 and 110,000 readers accessed the breaking new site on their tablets and mobiles, respectively.