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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Inside DCN’s Next Conversation: Talent Talk

April 8, 2015 | By Lisa Abourezk, SVP Marketing—DCN

As busy media executives we often find ourselves heads down, getting the work done and facing each new challenge as it arises. But to really get somewhere, we need to save some time to think about what’s next and to find places and people that encourage that future focus. On March 26th, DCN hosted The Next Conversation dinner – an event inside the Digiday Publishers Summit in Vail, CO.

Co-hosted by Digiday Editor-in-Chief Brian Morrissey and DCN CEO Jason Kint, the intimate dinner discussion included a mix of some of the most forward-thinking minds in the digital media industry – each of whom was hand-picked to attend this first-time DCN event. The talk ranged from finding and cultivating talent to how we create a sustainable future for this business that we love, even as we realize that it will look very different than it does today.

Our first segment in this three-part series covers culture and talent with dinner guests advising to look for smart people you like, who fit your brand and who have diverse experience.

Some highlights:

“We don’t necessarily need the absolute superstar rock star with the upside. We need people we like and people that give a shit and people that are competent. If you can get those three things…I’ll take those over the potential superstar 10 times out of 10.”

—Neil Vogel, CEO, About.com

“We prefer someone that understands and appreciates the curiosity of our editors even if we’re hiring them for the business side. It’s important that they feel the Atlantic. If they don’t, it’s not going to work. The Atlantic is a quirky publication…we can’t afford to have someone on board who doesn’t really get it.”

—David Minkin, Executive Director,
Revenue Operations, The Atlantic

“We need to have a diverse team…in my team alone we have a bunch of architects, a bunch of lawyers, a bunch of engineers, a bunch of marketers and a bunch of biologists, including myself. And that kind of spun off that kind of creativity and that innovation…and makes it even a better team.”

—Steve Suthiana, Global Head, Digital Media
& Operations, Mansueto Ventures

“We hire, basically, interns. We bring in 10 or 15 every semester. We hire the people who mesh with the organization…and who produce. Who produce a lot.”

—Brian Danza, CTO, Daily Caller

“In any of us, I think our job is always to hire and train and to build the best teams possible. And that usually means they’ll go off and get other great jobs.”

—Lauri Baker, VP, Brand Strategy, Huffington Post

“[Marketers] want to know how you fit in to their marketing plan and that you know the landscape very, very well. I think once you have someone who is very deeply knowledgeable in one thing they become a vendor and not a partner.”

—Brendan Spain, US Commercial Director, FT.com

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