BREAKING NEWS & VIEWS
min's Digital Hall of Fame Class of 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
We are proud to announce min's 2012 Digital Hall of Fame class of 2012: Complex Media's Rich Antoniello; The Atlantic Digital's Bob Cohn; Cygnus Business Media's John French; IDG Enterprise's Michael Friedenberg; Style.com's Dirk Standen and Hearst Digital Media's Kristine Welker. Each of our inductees are leaders that take their place among innovators who have helped make magazine brands irreplaceable in the digital age.
min's 2012 Digital Hall of Fame Inductees
Rich Antoniello, CEO, Complex MediaAnyone remember when Complex was “just” a niche pop-culture magazine? With the brand’s massive online reach into all areas of youth culture with a network of 45 million monthly unique visitors, Rich Antoniello has piloted one of the great print-to-Web success stories. Embracing the digital challenge/opportunity early, Rich turned a magazine into a digital network. Instead of trying to beat the Web at its own game with a legacy media brand, he was farsighted enough instead to become a Web ringleader…and its strongest salesman. The five year-old Complex Media Network (CMN) is the sole sales rep for 90 of the most trusted trend-setting sites for its target young male demo. And by sticking to his legacy media guns and controlling all of his own inventory, Rich has maintained its value in a quickly commoditized and over-supplied Web universe. Which is why CMN has seen over 150% growth in three years and is now seen as one of the Web’s most valuable startups.
Bob Cohn, Editorial Director, The Atlantic DigitalWhile other legacy media struggle to “extend” their brands into digital media, Bob Cohn has taken the opportunity to imagine for The Atlantic a new stage in its 154-year history. The Atlantic didn’t just come online; under his three-year leadership it blossomed here. As the print magazine was reinventing itself in one of the great makeovers of the last decade, Bob reimagined the brand as a central participant in the real-time conversation about all things political, cultural and financial online. The key Atlantic sites have experienced tremendous growth, to be sure. But Bob has also ensured that The Atlantic brand lives up to a heritage for leading the national conversation in new ways. The September 2011-launched TheAtlanticCities.com wisely anticipates that the great remigration to urban centers worldwide will help set the agenda for the next century.
John French, CEO, Cygnus Business MediaIt was in September 2009 when John French took the reins of Cygnus during the darkest days of the recession, and he has been guiding it through the recovery by reimagining how digital media can drive the future of b2b. His execution demonstrates the importance of focus and prioritizing around business strengths. Last year, Cygnus relaunched and consolidated 31 sites down to 19, including nine major portals. Bringing the entire company’s output onto a common and new CMS allowed the print and digital products to work on a common platform and across properties more fluidly. Editors were back in control of the technology and could publish faster. The new system was also wrapped in a novel CRM technology that was designed specifically for media and could integrate with all of the Cygnus publishing platforms, from print to tablets to tradeshows and smartphones. In all, under French’s leadership in bringing digital to the core of Cygnus’s operation, he helped build a platform for the post-recession transformation of b2b.
In a digital medium where too often b2b is behind the curve of innovation and emerging platforms, Michael Friedenberg has ensured that IDG Enterprise is always looking around the next bend. He pioneered the company’s use of social media in such products as the CIO Forum on LinkedIn, and he has seen the Forum become a 46,000-member exchange of ideas. His championing of the mobile platform has transformed most of the company’s Web sites to adaptable designs that optimize to the next generation of devices. He has helped IDG lead the way across both consumer and b2b publishers in integrating social media into advertising itself in the development of Smart Ads that blend user-generated content with branding, video and lead gen. Michael has gone beyond the “digital first” mantra at IDG Enterprise. He has put digital media and functionality at the very center of all his company does.
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