Samuel Regan-Asante has been appointed as UK CEO of JOE Media, to lead the social-first publisher and digital broadcaster’s ambitious growth agenda.
The business, which was acquired by Greencastle Capital in July 2020, is recruiting to more than double its team of journalists, covering politics and current affairs, sport, lifestyle and entertainment. JOE has also invested in a new, broadcast-standard, 4,000 sq ft. studio and will create more than 20 new jobs in content and video production.
This enhanced production capability will enable the improvements to established long-form shows, including the iconic House of Rugby – now In its third season – and the Joe Cole-fronted All To Play For, the first series of which has already amassed more than 11m views. Importantly it will also enable the production of a whole new suite of shows covering a wide range of areas of interest.
This combination of production value and quality journalistic content was a key factor in giving attracting Premier Sports as an investor. The investment forms part of a strategic partnership with Premier Sports in which JOE becomes the exclusive digital broadcaster of football highlights from La Liga, Serie A and Eredivisie. From this, plans are underway for the imminent launch of formats and shows to establish JOE as the home of European Football highlights online. The partnership will also see House Of Rugby broadcast on television for the first time later this year.
JOE, which has a reputation for pioneering, broadcast-quality video formats, has a highly loyal audience, the majority of whom are British men aged 25-34, and has a social following of more than 13 million fans and followers.
The new executive team aims to build on JOE’s position as digital publisher and broadcaster and use its progressive values around inclusivity and diversity to widen its reach across a broad audience. The core of JOE’s offering will remain accessible but sophisticated coverage of news and sport at a time when traditional news outlets struggle to engage with a younger audience, and other social publishers are striving to move away from their reputations for clickbait and a lack of editorial rigour.
Regan-Asante has a wealth of experience in developing and growing digital media businesses and was part of the team responsible for transforming UNILAD from 2015-2018, shifting its strategy towards original content which saw it become a media sensation, in the process attracting long term strategic partnerships with progressive, innovative brands such as Adidas, Amazon and KFC, and overseeing the first social-led advertising campaign for the British Army.
Regan-Asante said: “We’re extremely proud of JOE’s progressive and credible voice within news, lifestyle and sport and have ambitious growth plans for the business within this space. Our investment in a new studio and new hires to join an already talented staff will enable us to not only expand on our award-winning news coverage but also dramatically increase the production of shows for which JOE has become famous.
“Our audience has grown up with social media but they are at an age now where the way they use it is evolving. They’re looking for something more serious – coverage of real-life issues, things like financial literacy, parenting and mental health challenges – and JOE is not only here to cater to that demand but has a responsibility to do so. Social media platforms are now prioritising long-form content from trusted sources, and brands have a greater opportunity to advertise against meaningful content that’s being consumed in a more conscious, engaged way.”