2019 Mega-Conference

Leaders in transformation

David Chavern (moderator), Rob Barrett, Jeff Elgie and Alan Fisco
David Chavern (moderator), Rob Barrett, Jeff Elgie and Alan Fisco

It's not necessarily the strongest who survive and thrive, but those who adapt the most quickly to the changes in the market. The Tuesday morning general session at the Mega-Conference will feature the leaders of the companies that are adapting the fastest. What's their secret? How are they able to move the needle as other companies have failed?

David Chavern, president and CEO of the News Media Alliance, will moderate a panel discussion that will include:

  • Rob Barrett, president of Hearst Newspapers Digital Media. He is responsible for product innovation in news, information and entertainment across Hearst's local markets. Previously, Barrett ran Yahoo News, where he launched new programming featuring Katie Couric and a cross-platform integration with ABC News, and Yahoo Finance, where he created a similar partnership with CNBC. His roots are in newspapers.  Since joining Hearst Newspapers in 2016, the company has invested in consumer data and begun a transformation into a consumer-focused media and product company.

  • Jeff Elgie, CEO, Village Media, an ever-expanding network of local news and information sites that serves markets across Canada. Elgie is a pioneer in digital media who has been building and leading businesses in the digital space since he was 22 years old. Since taking the helm at Village Media five years ago, he has grown the company from two small sites in Northern Ontario, to a roster of over 19 local news sites operating in communities across the country.  He has been recognized globally as an industry leader and innovator who is continuously changing the landscape of digital news. 

  • Alan Fisco, president and chief financial officer The Seattle Times, where he provides oversight and leadership of the paper's executive team, and maintains direct leadership of finance, circulation, advertising, operations, human resources and labor. He also is responsible for The Seattle Times' affiliate newspapers, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin and the Yakima Herald-Republic, and its commercial printing subsidiary, Rotary Offset Press. Fisco currently serves as a member of the International News Media Association and is on the Board of Directors of the Inland Press Association.
Elgie said the group will "share stories about launching new pure-play digital sites from scratch to transforming existing legacy newspaper and radio sites to more robust, digital-first sites."

Chavern said:"I am thrilled to be moderating this panel with three industry powerhouses, who are showing through their innovative strategies how news media publishers are evolving the business of news."

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