In US, Guardian Media’s North American CEO is 0ut

The Guardian‘s ambitious effort to expand its presence in the U.S. market is without a leader–Hollywood blog The Wrap is reporting exclusively Monday that Caroline Little, CEO of Guardian North America confirmed she is leaving her post. No successor has been named, and Little reportedly gave no reasons for her departure, telling The Wrap “I have nothing but good things to say about The Guardian…but I’m rethinking what I want to do.”

Little, a digital media pioneer in the U.S. who previously helmed the Washington Post and Newsweek Interactive efforts, joined The Guardian in 2008 with orders to build the Guardian name among American digital news consumers–an effort that likely was hurt by the overall downturn in ad sales in the U.S. and worldwide.

Little hints, however, a difference in cultures may have added to her departure. “It’s been challenging,” said Little. “This is a London-based company. They know the U.S. is a huge market. They are truly committed to the U.S., but it’s been hard to get them there.”

In an interview last fall, Little explained her goals, saying The Guardian has about a third of its unique online visitors coming from the U.S. Her immediate priority was expanding those numbers and introducing more Americans to the Guardian name. “We’re We’re never going to be The New York Times or The Washington Post in the U.S., but we don’t aim to be. I think we have a definite point of view, kind of like Slate has a definite point of view. What I love about the Guardian, and the reason I got to know the Guardian, and the reason I’m so happy to be here, is that I found their Web presence to be really innovative. They’ve had open apps for a long time, and they push the envelope a lot more than other newspaper Web sites. The reason I want people to go to the Guardian is just to get a different viewpoint on the U.S. ‘

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