Justin Smith knows news. He has been CEO of two hugely important and respected news organizations in the last 15 years. And yet – he wants to start all over again!
Justin Smith has been a leader at gigantic, medium and small media companies – Bloomberg (9 years), Atlantic Media, (6 years) and The Week (5 years). Mike Bloomberg, a serious innovator himself, has called Smith one of the “smartest and most innovative people in media.”
Now, Smith wants to radically step away from the perception and processes of current news organizations to begin anew. He explained to the Wall Street Journal: “The news industry is facing a crisis in consumer trust and confidence due to the distorting influence of social media and rising levels of polarization and parochialism. My plan is to launch a premium news business that serves unbiased journalism to a global audience and provides a high-quality platform for the best journalists in the world.”
The same article reported that “Project Coda,” the venture’s working title, will raise “significant funding” and will address a “market of 200 million college-educated, English-speaking professionals throughout the world.”
In this 60 minute fireside chat, we will ask Smith about his management style and processes and how they changed over the years, with different companies and different owners. How are Smith’s experiences in huge corporations relevant to this startup? And why a startup?
Media Guru events are well-known for their “no speeches, no Power Point” promise: Just compelling one-on-one conversation with a fascinating personality making news in the media business, followed by Q+A from the audience.
Participants must register by NOON on March 14th to receive details on joining the discussion. The Zoom link will be sent out 24 hours before the event.
Please note that no refunds will be issued.
Founder - Project Coda
Justin B. Smith is founding a news startup, tapping New York Times media columnist Ben Smith to lead its future newsroom. Smith, from 2013 until January 2022 was CEO of Bloomberg Media Group.
Previously, Smith was president of Atlantic Media; he was with the company from 2007 until 2013. Under Smith, the magazine became profitable – the first time in decades.
From 2001 to 2006 Smith was at The Week, where he helped launch and then was President of a U.S. version of the weekly news magazine founded in London.
Earlier in his career, Smith worked at the International Herald Tribune and The Economist. He began his career at the Department of State. Smith is also the founder of Breaking Media, a collection of specialized websites. He graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Principal, Quantum Media
Ava Seave, HBS ’82, is a Principal of Quantum Media, a consulting firm focused on strategy and marketing for media, information and entertainment companies. At Quantum Media, she leads consulting engagements for media companies and nonprofit organizations. She co-founded Quantum Media in 1998. Seave is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and Columbia Journalism School.
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