Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Publishers Shortlist



Publishing Collaborative Champion

Alex Newberry

Independent Publishers Alliance

The Alliance was founded to champion and empower the independent publisher. The organisation aims to give Independent publishers a stronger place within the industry. The Alliance is now a year old.

Alex along with being one of the founders is also the CEO of the organisation and is responsible for driving the organisation growth and strategy. Alex and the team has grown the membership to 40 publisher groups. Along with successfully running a full years of events specific to independent publishers, tackling issues such as Post Cookie world, Diversifying revenue and building a digital audience.

Alliance publishers are taking great value from increasing their knowledge and making new contacts with like minded publishers from similar businesses. As well as now having a organisation that speaks specifically for them within the industry.

Alex has been key in The Alliance now setting up an advocacy programme for their publishers towards big tech as well as launching projects to create internships for young people to enter media with the Women in Programmatic Network. This year the Alliance have partnered with WIPN and have set out a mission statement to have 50% of their event speakers to be Female in 2022.

Dan Hodgson

Independent Publishers Alliance

The Alliance was founded to champion and empower the independent publisher. The organisation aims to give Independent publishers a stronger place within the industry. The Alliance is now a year old.

Dan along with being one of the founders is also the CRO of the organisation.  Dan and the team has grown the membership to 40 publisher groups. Along with successfully running a full years of events specific to independent publishers, tackling issues such as Post Cookie world, Diversifying revenue and building a digital audience.

Alliance publishers are taking great value from increasing their knowledge and making new contacts with like minded publishers from similar businesses. As well as now having a organisation that speaks specifically for them within the industry.

Jon Westbrook

Independent Publishers Alliance

The Alliance was founded to champion and empower the independent publisher. The organisation aims to give Independent publishers a stronger place within the industry. The Alliance is now a year old.

Jon along with being one of the founders is also the COO of the organisation. Jon and the team has grown the membership to 40 publisher groups. Along with successfully running a full years of events specific to independent publishers, tackling issues such as Post Cookie world, Diversifying revenue and building a digital audience.

Alliance publishers are taking great value from increasing their knowledge and making new contacts with like minded publishers from similar businesses. As well as now having a organisation that speaks specifically for them within the industry.

Marios Perrakis

News UK

There is one thing doing your job and another striving for excellence.

Marios, our Head of Data Science at News UK, has demonstrated exceptional leadership in his field, uplifted his colleagues and revamped how we circulate content in our key publication, The Sun – all in a very short span of time.

Alongside The Times, News UK publishes The Sun, UK’s top newspaper by circulation, with millions of online readers at thesun.co.uk and The Sun app. Data Science predictive algorithms are integral in optimising The Sun’s print distribution across retailers in the country, enabling targeting marketing and advertising for its digital sites / app, but perhaps most importantly fueling higher customer engagement through personalisation and content recommendations. Since he joined in the summer of 2021, Marios has re-architected our Content Recommendations Engine making it more future-proof, and allowing us to not only support content recirculation but also promote marketing calls-to-action (newsletters, e-commerce articles), brand building campaign initiatives and cross-/up-selling opportunities in a single system. This has now become a key stepping stone towards our ideal aim of predicting the ‘next best action’ for our users. Equally importantly, the system is more sophisticated as it comprises a novel optimisation self-learning algorithm with minimal to no reliance on manual, trial-and-error A/B testing, freeing up resources for the business. The excitement this has brought to the Data Science team but also technology and business colleagues at News about the opportunities available going forward has been palpable and made our product roadmaps more ambitious. Sun Recommendations has already been short-listed by the International News Media Association (INMA) for an award this year, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the project and the experience of our readers.

More than technical innovation, Marios has exhibited true Though Leadership in his field. He swiftly conducted a capability review for his functional area, which manifested into proposing a novel operational strategy, applicable to many Applied Data Science teams in media and beyond. The “0 / 1 / Done” strategy has been promoted through our department’s Medium.com publication, and has since been picked up by top newsletters in the field globally such as Data Science Weekly, the Royal Statistical Society’s Data Science Section and Data Elixir (coming up). The strategy is already rigorously been implemented internally.

Furthermore, Marios has managed to grow the size and the capabilities of his team by bringing together Data Science and Machine Learning Operations into a single function, defining ways of working with product and business analysis roles, being very open, collaborative, organised and overall infusing positive energy in his colleagues, as evidenced by own team feedback. All this change occurred without decreasing team delivery velocity, which proves that strategic initiatives do not always need to be disruptive to deliver true change.

Given his prior media background, I believe there is a bright future for him in our industry, and I wholeheartedly nominate him for this award.

Links:

https://www.inma.org/best-practice/Data-and-Research/2022-141/Nucleus-Personalisation-Taking-the-Lead-on-Sun-Article-Recommendations

https://medium.com/news-uk-technology/the-0-1-done-strategy-for-data-science-3c1737de14b3


Publishing Hero

Chris Dicker

Trusted Reviews

Why is your nomination a ‘champion’ or ‘hero’, what have they done to deserve the award?

Chris has managed to take a brand that the might and money of TI Media couldn’t turn around into a leading brand in a new thriving publishing business. The brand in question saw its first positive google core update in over 3 years and was named in SearchMetrics Winner List which lists the top performing 100 sites from the update. Bringing new life to legacy brands is clearly something he enjoys and is good at.

Why should their work be award-winning?

Chris has an entrepreneurial mind set and is constantly reminding us to think outside of the box. His knowledge on commercial strategy has seen us create multiple new market first revenue streams for a publisher, eg. Trusted Reviews Labs, which has helped the business diversify its revenue streams and grow revenue and Ebitda over 50% yoy.

How are they making the industry better?

Chris realises the value of his employees and how important they are to the success of the business. Although the business is still in its infancy the company has a good benefits program and was recently included in Campaigns Best Places to work for 2022. We are a Real Living Wage employer and adhere to the Good Business Charter. Chris hates to see large organisations close good brands so is always on the look out to try and save them like what he did with Recombu.com, only a few months after creating the new business. He clearly cares not just about our business but also the industry, that’s evident from him being asked to join the board of the Independent Publishers Alliance where he’s been quite vocal on their direction.

How do they inspire others?

I have worked with Chris for just over 2 years. He hired me into TI Media and took me with him when Trusted Reviews was sold as part of the Future PLC acquisition. Within my career I have always wanted to work with people I trust and find inspiring. Chris is someone who always wants the best for people. In the above example I have no doubts that Chris would have allowed me to join Future PLC if I so asked. For me, a manifestation of finding someone inspiring is the ability to easily trust them. I explicitly trust Chris which is why working with him is so easy. Chris’s ability to test what he knows and increase his understanding of things that he wouldn’t traditionally need to is a rare skill. It would be easier for Chris to simply set targets and walk away, but he doesn’t and rather wants to fully understand solutions to problems or understand the wider ecosystem of where the business operates. Chris is inspiring in many areas but his overall open approach and willingness to learn, test and be tested is something that I think would be a rare trait of someone in his position.

Mary Keane-Dawson

Time Out

A HERO – Mary has a long and remarkable career traversing creative and agencies, media owners and Adtech. This has afforded her a truly unique perspective and many opportunities to be at the forefront of the involving ecosystem, cultural shifts and new commercial models that have continued to emerge in the advertising sector.

Fearless in championing equality of opportunity for all, she has promoted, mentored and encouraged talent whatever the persons background, ethnicity, sexuality or gender.

Having faced her own experiences of sexism and bullying in the media world, Mary has never given in or given up. Known for growing companies and developing new business strategies, her career with global advertising clients, from Amex to Zenefits ( via British Airways, Ford and many more in between) has led to her leading companies as diverse at Neo@Ogilvy, Time Out Media, Spafax, Collective London and Steak Media.