Mirror Group Digital Chief Leaving To Head New Perform Business

The digital content director of Trinity Mirror’s national-level Mirror Group news group will leave in January to spearhead a new business division at online sports operator Perform Group, paidContent:UK has learned.

Matt Kelly has been with the group for 16 years. Lately, he had led a redesign of Mirror.co.uk, spun out 3am.co.uk and MirrorFootball.co.uk from the site and had been a vocal exponent of his belief that publishers should create audience loyalty rather than pander to search engine traffic.

The future of the role he leaves behind will be worked out during Kelly’s final three months.

Online video specialist Perform holds contracts too numerous to list briefly. It holds numerous online sports rights itself, runs pay-for VOD sites for 79 Football League clubs and sells ads for PremierLeague.com and FLInteractive. It also serves sports video highlights on to the websites of newspaper and other partners.

Its ePlayer white-label video platform takes over 30 million monthly uniques. Perform could have a big opportunity to take its videos on to connected TVs, not just computer screens.

Kelly will be MD of a new unit, Perform Publishing, which will be dedicated to building out Perform’s direct-to-consumer, own-brand products and audiences, rather than syndicating to partners.

Kelly, a keen Liverpool football fan and motorcyclist, had been Daily Mirror associate editor, features head and a technology columnist. Mirror Group Newspapers is currently making deep staff cuts in the order of 200 editorial positions.

“They literally work with everybody, they’ve got a foot in the door with everybody,” Kelly tells paidContent:UK. “It’s a global job – any sport, anywhere, worldwide. They’re very dynamic guys.”