Alexandra Beverfjord is editor-in-chief and CEO of Norway’s six-day-a-week Dagbladet, where three big initiatives are playing out this year:
- Strengthening digital penetration.
- Increasing numbers of digital subscriptions for its premium investigative channel.
- Continuing to build its Web TV, which has offerings in news, sports, celebrity news, and the latest videos.
Beverfjord — a new member of the INMA Board of Directors, as well as a social anthropologist and crime fiction writer — attributes the success of these initiatives to staff skills and the cooperation between editorial and other departments at the newspaper. She is proud of the plan to move Dagbladet from a newspaper to a modern digital resource.
Former military officer Anthon Bang founded Dagbladet in 1869, after a six-year run with a weekly magazine. He was at various times a writer, publicist, and editor and publisher of several newspapers and magazines. The newspaper was associated with Norway’s Liberal party (Venstre) for nearly 100 years before becoming politically neutral with liberal leanings in 1977.
The historic Dagbladet is one of Norway’s largest newspapers, with roughly 1.5 million daily readers on mobile, Web, and print. Family-owned Nordic magazine publisher Aller Media bought the news brand in 2013, with the exception of 1% owned by the foundation Dagbladets Stiftelse, whose role it is to safeguard editorial independence and leadership.
The news brand has been a leader in establishing new editorial products in Norway, leading the way with the country’s first online edition, a Sunday edition, and more recently, a Saturday feature supplement, Magasinet, which reaches about 25% of the country’s adult population.
We recently talked to Beverfjord about the company’s three focused initiatives and the monderisation of the news brand.
INMA: What is Dagbladet’s biggest idea/Initiative for 2019?
Beverfjord: We have concentrated on three big initiatives:
- To speed up the breaking news strategy, a work which is necessary to fulfill the ambition to increase our digital position — and to do whatever it takes technically to fulfill that ambition.
- A major operation to place Dagbladet on Norway’s map of Web TV. And so far this year we have doubled the video views.
- To increase the numbers of digital subscribers for Dagbladet Pluss. We are now getting pretty close to 90,000 pure digital subscribers.
INMA: What do you see as the big opportunities in 2019 and how are you taking advantage of them?
Beverfjord: I think Web TV is one of the big opportunities in 2019, and we are now well prepared to take our share of that growth. I also think that we must keep on improving in every part of our business. If we manage that, we will keep on growing fast.
INMA: What success within your company are you most proud of at this moment?
Beverfjord: I am very proud of the in-house response. I am very impressed by our skilled staff. We have worked with high ambitions this year and had success with the way everything has worked out. We have also worked hard on a plan for taking Dagbladet from a historic, well-known print newspaper, to a modern digital site.
INMA: What did you learn in 2018 that is guiding your leadership in 2019?
Beverfjord: I have become even more aware of the need to have a close cooperation between editorial staff and the teams that work with analysis, marketing, and technology.