Media companies are pursuing a “mobile-first” agenda as a way to intersect with consumers who have stretched beyond traditional media platforms to seek new information. So, who’s leading the way when it comes to developing a mobile-first agenda? We ask some of the industry’s thought leaders to help us navigate the course ahead, looking specifically at areas of innovation, infrastructure, content creation, mindset/workflow, audience/monetization and futurism.

Location

The event took place at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Mo. 

Our featured guests include:

David Gehring
Global Alliances and Partnership Strategy, Google

David GehringDavid Gehring started at Google three years ago managing news media strategic partnerships for YouTube. In that role, Gehring developed partnership strategy and engaged with international, national and local news organizations. During that time he became interested in the economic development of the news industry. So, after a couple years at YouTube, he moved to a business development team at Google and was tasked with managing Google's strategic engagement with major partners across divisions.

Neil Katz
Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of Content, The Weather Company

Neil KatzNeil Katz serves as editor-in-chief and vice president of content for The Weather Company’s digital properties, which include weather.com, wunderground.com, and its category leading lineup of smartphone and tablet applications. Katz owns editorial direction of the properties overseeing digital video content, news, lifestyle and sponsored advertising content. He supervises all content staff as well as content acquisition and analytics. Katz joined The Weather Company in November 2012.

Laura Evans
VP of Audience Development and Data Science, Scripps Networks Interactive

Laura EvansLaura Evans is vice president of audience development and data science at Scripps Networks Interactive (HGTV, DIY Network, Food Channel, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country). In this role, Evans leads audience development, data analysis, development and deployment of analytics across all SNI digital products, digital marketing execution, customer service, and audience strategy through leveraging data and its management. 

Victor Hernandez
News Futurist, CNN Worldwide

Victor HernandezVictor Hernandez is a news futurist with CNN Worldwide, charged with shaping critical vision and strategies around emerging technologies against CNN’s journalistic endeavors. Prior to this role, Hernandez served as CNN’s director of national coverage where he oversaw the network’s domestic newsgathering operations including the handling of strategic response to breaking news and in-depth coverage. 

David Cohn
Director of News, Circa; 2010-2011 Reynolds Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute

David CohnDavid Cohn is the director of news for Circa, a mobile-first newsroom and pioneer of the "follow" feature for news arcs. Previously, he founded the first platform to crowdfund for independent reporting projects and was a pioneer in crowdsourced journalism. Cohn has written for numerous publications including Wired and The New York Times. He is a board member of the Online News Association.

Bill Anderson

VP of North American Sales, Vizrt

Bill Anderson is the vice president of North American Sales for Vizrt, where he has been for the past nine years. Previously, Anderson was a regional sales manager for Pinnacle Systems, Inc., and a product specialist for Digital GrafiX beginning in 1995.

Anderson has had an extensive career in radio and television production, beginning at KTCH-AM in Wayne, Neb., in 1975. He was at KTVB-TV in Boise, Idaho, for five years, and had a 14-year-stay in his hometown of Los Angeles at ON-TV, Audio + Video, Complete Post and Crest National Video Labs.

Tony Brown

Director of Product, Newsy

As director of product for Newsy, Tony has overseen the development of systems that have grown to deliver over one billion video streams per year, including a full suite of mobile apps that have earned wide recognition. Newsy was acquired by the E.W. Scripps Company in January 2014. Tony is a University of Missouri alumnus.

Trina Chiasson

Co-founder and CEO, Infoactive; 2013-2014 Reynolds Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute

Trina Chiasson is a developer, designer and self-proclaimed Web nerd. She is the co-founder and CEO of Infoactive, an online platform for building mobile-friendly, interactive infographics with live data.

Trina is also a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, where her research on newsroom visualizations focuses on interactive data exploration and mobile optimization. She enjoys the challenge of turning numbers into stories and making data more human.

Laura Clark

Senior VP, Frank N. Magid Associates

Laura Clark is senior vice president and leader of Magid’s local media business. Her work includes coordination of the company’s strategic partnerships with several media industry leaders. She is working with corporate and station leaders to determine the best strategy and resource deployment for success on multiple media platforms in the future. She is also a member of Magid’s Millennial Strategy Group® team, providing strategic guidance to clients ranging from media companies to retailers. Clark is a senior member of Magid’s strategic planning practice and is a frequent presenter at industry and client conferences across the country. She and members of the team provide due diligence to a wide range of clientele from private equity to strategic partners.

David Cohn

Director of News, Circa; 2010-2011 Reynolds Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute

David Cohn is the director of news for Circa, a mobile-first newsroom and pioneer of the "follow" feature for news arcs. Previously, he founded the first platform to crowdfund for independent reporting projects and was a pioneer in crowdsourced journalism.

Cohn has written for numerous publications including Wired and The New York Times. He is a board member of the Online News Association. He holds a master’s degree in new media from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Xavier Damman

Co-founder and CEO, Storify

Xavier Damman moved from Belgium in the summer of 2009 with the idea that there are voices on social media that deserve to be published on mainstream media. This idea is the foundation of Storify, a platform used by leading news organizations around the world to tell stories with social media.

Storify has won numerous awards including the 2011 startup accelerator and 2012 interactive awards at South by Southwest. In 2013, the Denver Post was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Aurora, Colo., shooting - coverage which Storify played a role.

Laura Evans

VP of Audience Development and Data Science, Scripps Networks Interactive

Laura Evans is vice president of audience development and data science at Scripps Networks Interactive (HGTV, DIY Network, Food Channel, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country). In this role, Evans leads audience development, data analysis, development and deployment of analytics across all SNI digital products, digital marketing execution, customer service, and audience strategy through leveraging data and its management.

Previously, Evans was head of Dow Jones' audience insights and analytics team: a cross-functional and highly specialized group focusing on digital audience growth and strategic research, as well as data analysis for all digital, mobile and offline properties of Dow Jones and Co. (The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Barron’s, Factiva).

Prior to joining Dow Jones, Evans was with The Washington Post for 10 years where her last position was chief experience officer and vice president of research. Her team had the directive of making sure The Washington Post had a clear audience strategy across all products, serving as the link between customers’ needs and the business’s operations.

Adriano Farano

Co-founder and CEO, Watchup

Adriano Farano is co-founder and CEO of Watchup, a startup reinventing the way we watch news. Featured by Apple, Watchup’s iPad app lets you enjoy your daily newscast from the world's most trusted news channels. The company also delivered the first-ever multi-channel news experience for wearables with Watchup for Glass.

Farano is currently an adviser at StartX, the Stanford University nonprofit that accelerated Watchup. Prior to StartX, Farano was a 2011 Knight Journalism Fellow, where he researched ways to augment the news experience on mobile and tablets. He is also a lasagna design guru. Install and use Watchup to learn why.

Kim Garretson

2013-2014 Reynolds Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute

Kim Garretson has co-founded three digital agencies, two of which are now owned by the global holding companies Interpublic Group and Publicis. He recently sold his equity in Ovative Group, a boutique digital consulting firm in Minneapolis. Previously, Garretson was Best Buy's head of emerging media where he created original content marketing initiatives for the retailer and was the company’s liaison to the venture capital industry.

With the speed of innovation emerging from startup company ecosystems, including the venture capital industry, corporations in media and advertising-related businesses need better platforms and tools for connecting with the best startups for their innovation initiatives. Garretson's fellowship at RJI is focused on developing services for media and advertising companies to address this need.

Michael Gay

VP of Interactive Media, Journal Broadcast Group

Michael Gay joined Journal Broadcast Group in 2012 and oversees the digital sales and product development strategies for the company’s more than 100 websites, mobile apps and social channels. Gay led the relaunch of Journal’s TV and radio websites to improve the mobile experience for their users, which resulted in significant traffic increases. With the recent launch of national sites NowTrending.com and NashvilleEdge.com, mobile and social experiences were emphasized. Prior to Journal Broadcast Group, Gay served in roles at Hearst Television, CBS Television and Young Broadcasting.

David Gehring

Global Alliances and Partnership Strategy, Google

David Gehring started at Google three years ago managing news media strategic partnerships for YouTube. In that role, Gehring developed partnership strategy and engaged with international, national and local news organizations. During that time he became interested in the economic development of the news industry. So, after a couple years at YouTube, he moved to a business development team at Google and was tasked with managing Google's strategic engagement with major partners across divisions. On this team, Gehring is specifically focused on managing Google's partnerships with key media companies. Additionally, he works on projects facilitating cross-divisional collaboration with the goal of deepening Google's economic engagement in the news media industry.

Victor Hernandez

News Futurist, CNN Worldwide

Victor Hernandez is a news futurist with CNN Worldwide, charged with shaping critical vision and strategies around emerging technologies against CNN’s journalistic endeavors.

Prior to this role, Hernandez served as CNN’s director of national coverage where he oversaw the network’s domestic newsgathering operations including the handling of strategic response to breaking news and in-depth coverage.

His work with new media, emerging technologies and convergence is amongst the most innovative and cutting edge at CNN. Hernandez is viewed as an organization leader in the areas of new media, social networking and multimedia journalism. His leadership with the CNN All Platform Journalism initiative ensures the global news organization remains at the forefront of exciting, evolving storytelling opportunities. He has won Peabody awards for the coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.

Jim Jenks

VP and Executive Producer, MLB Advanced Media

Jim Jenks is vice president and executive producer of multimedia and special projects at MLB Advanced Media. He is responsible for managing multimedia content and launching new company and partner audio/video initiatives on the MLB.com portal, mobile devices, social networks and partner properties. Prior to joining MLB Advanced Media in Nov. 2007, he spent five years at The Philadelphia Inquirer as executive sports editor and six years at ESPN as executive editor/producer of ESPN.com and director of research for the broadcast division. As founding editor of NASCAR Online in 2006, he worked with Paul Allen’s Starwave Corp. in the development of NBA.com and NFL.com as director of league initiatives.

Neil Katz

Editor-in-Chief and VP of Content, The Weather Company

Neil Katz serves as editor-in-chief and vice president of content for The Weather Company’s digital properties, which include weather.com, wunderground.com, and its category-leading lineup of smartphone and tablet applications. Katz owns editorial direction of the properties overseeing digital video content, news, lifestyle and sponsored advertising content. He supervises all content staff as well as content acquisition and analytics.

Katz joined The Weather Company in November 2012 from The Huffington Post, where as executive news editor he was part of the senior team that oversees editorial for The Huffington Post. He led the AOL.com editorial team and oversaw The Huffington Post business, tech and crime verticals, as well as the production of several new video series. Previously, Katz spent several years at CBSnews.com as an executive editor and was the founding editor of the CBS News Crimesider site. In addition, he was a field producer for “48 Hours,” and a freelance video journalist for The New York Times and PBS.

Prior to his journalism career, Katz art directed online campaigns for clients including Intel, Cuervo, Johnson & Johnson and the American Lung Association. In addition, he founded Merging Media, a digital design firm that produced sites for Nickelodeon, Hasbro, NYU and others.

Misha Leybovich

CEO, Meograph; 2013-2014 Reynolds Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute

Misha Leybovich is the CEO of Meograph, which helps brands engage their customers in creating multimedia stories and mashups. Previously, he consulted with McKinsey & Company in Atlanta and Shanghai.

While at MIT, he earned master's degrees in both aerospace engineering and technology and policy. He also did research at the Judge Business School at Cambridge University. At University of California, Berkeley, he earned his bachelor's degree in engineering physics and served as the president of the student body. Leybovich has prolific international experience, having visited 70 countries and lived/worked on four continents.

Mark Little

CEO and Founder, Storyful

Mark Little is the founder of Storyful, the world’s first social media news agency. He leads a team of journalists and technologists who discover and verify the most compelling content on platforms like YouTube and Twitter. His company works with the biggest news organizations and social networks in the world, including YouTube, ABC News and the New York Times. Storyful’s headquarters are in Ireland. The company was acquired by News Corp in December 2013 and will expand its operations in the United States and Asia in 2014.

Barbara Maushard

VP of News, Hearst Television

Barbara Maushard is vice president of news at Hearst Television Inc., where she leads the company’s news product on the air, online and on mobile platforms.

Between 1997 and 2008, when she moved to Hearst Television’s headquarters, she worked at four Hearst stations. She began as executive producer at KMBC-TV, Kansas City, where she was part of the team that won a Society of Professional Journalists award for breaking news coverage, and traveled to Cuba to co-produce special coverage of the Pope's visit.

She has served as news director at three Hearst stations. Under her news stewardship, WISN-TV launched seven and a half hours of local news programming and was honored with a Peabody and a national Edward R. Murrow award, among others.

André Mika

Senior VP of Production and Programming, 120 Sports

André Mika is involved in various digital and entertainment projects, including the launch of 120 Sports, the first multi-sport, league-built live streaming video network. Partners include Time Inc., NHL, NBA, MLB.com and NASCAR.

Previously, Mika led all creative for TBA Global, producing some of the largest corporate events in the world. Before that, he oversaw production creative, digital programming and content for the National Hockey League.

Mika served as director of current programming and production for AOL after he won his first Emmy Award for his work directing the 2004 Olympic Games for NBC.

Ernesto Mourelo

Executive Digital Media Manager of Editorial Operations, Hearst Television

Ernesto Mourelo is a journalist with nearly two decades of experience working in television and digital media. He got his start as a video editor and producer in Colorado before moving into management roles in San Diego, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and most recently New York, where he leads the editorial efforts for Hearst Television's digital properties.

Robyn Peterson

CTO, Mashable

Robyn Peterson is the chief technology officer and head of product for Mashable where he led the creation and development of the new Mashable.com site, which launched in December 2012, and established Mashable as a lead technology-driven media company. Prior to Mashable, he was the head of product at Next Issue Media, the magazine and newspaper consortium (funded by News Corp, Conde Nast, Time Inc., Meredith and Hearst), where he led the development of a digital newsstand. Before that, he ran product strategy and technology for a division of NBC.

Steve Rice

Convergence Journalism Assistant Professor, Missouri School of Journalism

Steve Rice is an assistant professor in convergence journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism. Previously, he was a member of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s news video team (2009-2010) that produced studio and news projects for the Star Tribune’s website. He helped produce a daily news program called "NewsBreak," a number of sports and entertainment weekly videos, plus breaking news and feature events.

Rice worked as a still photographer and videographer for the Star Tribune’s feature sections (2007-2009) with an emphasis on food photography, video stories and general feature photography.

Previously, he designed and directed the production of Knight Ridders’ book, “Come Hell and High Water,” on the flooding that devastated Grand Forks, N.D. He worked as a picture and project editor for Bill Gates’ digital imaging company, responsible for editing a photographer’s archive of work to be included in the Corbis stock collection.

Under his leadership, the Miami Herald photography department won two photo Pulitzer Prizes and were finalists on three other occasions. The photo department’s work from Hurricane Andrew was part of the Gold Medal for Public Service in 1993.

Joe Rooney

Director of Digital Content, Raycom Media

Joe Rooney joined Raycom Media in 2013 and oversees digital content for the company’s more than 100 websites, mobile apps and social channels. In addition to spearheading the efforts at the local stations, he is looking to improve the breadth of content outside of news to engage the audience on all digital platforms and social media. Rooney also manages the Raycom News Network hub, a 24/7 national and international newsroom, providing content to all Raycom stations as well as to other media groups across the country. Prior to Raycom Media, he worked for E.W. Scripps Company and Newport Television.

Frank Russell

Doctoral Student, Missouri School of Journalism

Frank Russell is a doctoral student at the Missouri School of Journalism. He was the Knight visiting editor at the Columbia Missourian and an assistant professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Previously, he worked as an editor and writer for online and print media at the San Jose Mercury News, The Seattle Times and other newspapers. At the Mercury News, he was an online editor and writer specializing in technology news, chief of copy desks and assistant business editor. His research interests include media and technology, with an emphasis on how journalists use social media and the Internet to interact with news sources and the public.

Dan Schultz

Partner, Silicon Valley Software Group; 2013-2014 Reynolds Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute

Dan Schultz (@slifty) is a civic hacker and innovator. Specifically, he is a Knight News Challenge winner, a recent graduate from the MIT Media Lab, a not-so-recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and a 2012 Knight-Mozilla Fellow. Schultz lives in Providence, R. I., and wears many hats. He is a visiting programmer in residence at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications; a cofounder of Hyperaudio Inc., a non-profit organization that allows anyone to remix videos in a notepad; and a partner at the Silicon Valley Software Group, an organization dedicated to helping startups solve their technology problems. Schultz is a 2013 Reynolds Fellow working on Truth Goggles, a credibility layer for the Web. He is also a 2013 Sunlight Foundation grant recipient building CivOmega, a “Wolfram Alpha for civic information” that makes it much easier for nerds to make government data useful to normal human beings.

Chris Shipley

2013-2014 Reynolds Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute

Chris Shipley is a technology industry journalist, analyst and entrepreneur with a keen ability to identify disruptive innovation and market shifts before they happen. As the executive producer of the DEMO conference for more than a decade, she supported the market launch of more than 1,500 companies which, were they an investment portfolio, would have a combined market cap of more than $60 billion.

Shipley is a Reynolds Fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute investigating the impact of emerging technology on traditional news media and developing tools to empower digital media consumers.

Judd Slivka

Convergence Journalism Assistant Professor, Missouri School of Journalism

Judd Slivka teaches multimedia and mobile journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism. He has worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Arizona Republic newspapers, as well as leading the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' communications and IT efforts.

Steny Solitude

CEO and Founder, Perfect Memory

Steny Solitude, CEO and founder of Perfect Memory, is an expert in mass indexing of multimedia content. He graduated with honors from the University of Technology of Compiègne, France, with an engineering of cultural industries degree.

Solitude began his career in a startup that developed the first solution for 7/24 IP recording for broadcasters and a platform for the industrialization and the pre-indexing of multimedia content. He has also worked as an expert for the French government of industry on audiovisual indexing systems and metadata formats. He wrote various patents that deal with a pre-indexed media content production system and his specialties include semantic processing of the content, business development and team management.

Solitude is convinced that a new paradigm of media production, management and distribution has begun with the rise of the semantic Web. He works in Perfect Memory to design the tools and services of this new age of the cultural industries.

Jim Spencer

CEO, Newsy

Jim Spencer is CEO of Newsy, a mobile and online video news service. It was acquired by The E.W. Scripps Company in 2014. During the past 20 years, Spencer has helped lead several early-stage as well as established digital media companies. He was VP of content and answers at Ask Jeeves (Ask.com), where he was responsible for all search queries and guided the company to the 15th-ranked website and through a successful initial public offering. Prior to Ask Jeeves, he was the GM of news and information programming at AOL (news, sports, health, research and international), advancing the content, business and partnership operations for one of AOL’s major business units.

Will Sullivan

Director of Mobile, Broadcasting Board of Governors; 2010-2011 Reynolds Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute

Will Sullivan is the director of mobile for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, leading strategy, product design and development for news, information and language training resources for an audience of 206 million people weekly in more than 100 countries and 61 languages. He was previously the director of mobile news for Lee Enterprises, a 2010-2011 Reynolds Fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and interactive director of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was the youngest elected member of the Online News Association’s board of directors and served as the board secretary. In 2012, he was selected by Editor and Publisher magazine as one of the “25 under 35” innovative young media leaders.

His work has won more than a dozen awards from organizations including the Online News Association, Society for News Design and National Press Photographer Association. Projects he's worked on have twice been declared finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and twice been named to Editor and Publisher's annual list of "10 That Do It Right." Most recently, the Voice of America news application he created was selected as a finalist by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) for best mobile publishing platform in the 2014 Global Mobile Awards.

Chris Turner

Senior Director of SEC Programming, ESPN

Chris Turner was named senior director of SEC programming in January 2009. Turner joined ESPN in 1995 after the company acquired Creative Sports, where he served as programming coordinator. In 1997, ESPN combined itsOhlmeyer Communication Corporation (OCC) division and Creative Sports to form ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the nation’s largest syndicator of college sports programming.

During his tenure with ERT, Turner’s syndication responsibilities grew to include Big East, Big 12 and C-USA basketball, as well as Mountain West football. He also co-managed ERT’s events division, where he was instrumental in growing the portfolio to more than 20 owned and operated events, including six post-season college football bowl games, six multi-team men’s college basketball events and the ESPN National Golf Challenge presented by Callaway.

As senior director of SEC programming, Turner is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of ESPN’s historic agreement and plays a significant role in the creation of the SEC Network. In addition to current responsibilities, he oversees content development and acquisition for the network’s digital platforms.

Mike Wheeler

Managing Partner, Westerly Partners, LLC.

Mike Wheeler is the managing partner in Westerly Partners, LLC., an investor advisory that provides strategic, financial and technology solutions to early-stage companies focused on the new media and technology industries.

Westerly Partners serves as an advisor, investor or board member to adfreeq, BBN Networks, ChyronHego, Cycorp, FanCandy, Masada OxyNol, Milenia3, Library Ideas, LocalVox, Morningside Partners, Reynolds Journalism Institute, SportsRecruits LLC. and Win View. Westerly Partners also advises corporations interested in emerging technologies.

Before founding Westerly Partners, Wheeler was president of e2enet, an early stage venture capital firm. He has more than 25 years of senior management experience at NBC, MTV, Showtime, The Financial News Network, Meredith Broadcasting and CBS.

Stacey Woelfel

News Director, KOMU-TV; 2013-2014 Reynolds Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute

Stacey Woelfel is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and the news director for KOMU-TV, the University of Missouri-owned NBC affiliate for central Missouri. The commercial station serves as the teaching laboratory for the Missouri School of Journalism. Students at KOMU-TV are the reporters, producers, writers, photographers and editors of six daily newscasts that go head to head with competing newscasts in the market. He is also a Reynolds Fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. His fellowship project involves developing a richer TV news broadcast experience through second-screen engagement.

Woelfel is the past national chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), a member of the national board of directors of the Carole Kneeland Project, a member of the board of governors of the Mid-America chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and a member of the board of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.


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