Meredith Kopit Levien: Bring Digitial Life to the Grey Lady
EVP, Advertising at the NYT
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/meredith-kopit-levien/0/8b1/78a
Ms. Kopit Levien is responsible for the generation of all advertising revenue from The Times’s multiplatform products and services and for leadership of the global advertising sales team. Before joining The Times, she was the chief revenue officer at Forbes Media, where she led the North American and European revenue operations for Forbes.com, the Forbes Magazine Group and Forbes Conferences.
Innovating in Field of Work:
• She is part of a leadership team shifting the way The New York Times makes money from advertising: In addition to selling standard display ads, it’s working with advertisers to create bespoke ad campaigns and produce content. Her job might be one of the most high-stakes in the media business right now.
• A pioneer in native advertising, at Forbes she oversaw the selling BrandVoice, one of the first native advertising products. Also under her stewardship, the Forbes website and magazine were brought into one operating unit with an integrated sales team and she laid the foundation for another big Forbes initiative – programmatic buying.
• It is this innovation that she brings to the much larger publishing company and she is making inroads. Levien recently disclosed that readers are spending roughly the same amount of time on advertiser-sponsored posts as on news stories, a shift from prior research.
• After Levien was named the chief revenue officer at Forbes in 2012 the company saw 6 consecutive quarters of growth with last year its best financial performance in half a decade.
• The Times launched its paid posts program in January and now has eight advertisers participating with more joining in the next few months.
• Named on of Ad Age’s Women to Watch 2014
• A wonderful mentor to young women and men, she is truly an inspiration for work/life balance.
• Whether criss-crossing the country for a client or assisting a junior staffer until 1 a.m. on a Saturday morning perfecting a deck, Levien’s personal approach in a cutthroat industry is about the long haul.
• Sebastian Tomich, Forbes’ East coast director, who worked for Levien for three years says of her mentoriship, “She’s very inspirational and leads by having an unmatched work ethic.”
• IAB honored Meredith for Leadership Through Mentoring /Sales & Service Excellence Award 2013.
Reinvention / Momentum:
• She’s moved from a less traditional publisher to a more traditional one and is in charge of reinventing and continuing to grow their revenue.
• Introducing an ad product at the Gray Lady wasn’t easy: The newsroom staff were wary of native ads confusing readers.
• In January, the Times introduced its version of native ads, allowing brands to post clearly labeled stories amid editorial content. The publicly traded Times Co. delighted investors when it posted its first increase in ad revenue in 13 quarters. Levien hardly paused to celebrate the good news. “There is no victory banner up yet,” she said. “We have a lot more to do.”
“Commercial and advertising success can preserve and further editorial independence.”