Ranj Begley is the Managing Director of Readly UK, the ground-breaking, all-you-can-read digital magazine service, and Chief Content Officer for the whole of the international Readly operation which has a consumer footprint across 50 territories worldwide. Begley built the UK company from the bottom up, brick by brick, from its launch in 2014 to its current market-leading and award-winning position in 2020.
Prior to founding Readly UK, Begley held a number of senior management positions in marketing and business development roles in publishing and fulfilment companies including Dovetail, Highbury House, CDS Global and UBM plc.
Originating from Sweden, Readly is a digital subscription service providing consumers with unlimited access to nearly 5,000 national and international magazines for £7.99 per month. Readly is today one of the fastest growing companies in Europe. In collaboration with around 800 publishers worldwide, Readly is digitising the magazine industry, bringing the magic of magazines into the future. During 2019, Readly’s subscribers read a total of 83m issues.
Jim Bilton is the Managing Director of media consultancy, Wessenden Marketing, and specialist research agency, Brandlab. Wessenden publishes a range of reports, including the mediafutures benchmarking project and the audience newsletter, wessendenbriefing.
Before setting up Wessenden Marketing in 1992, Jim worked in a variety of roles in the media industry, covering sales, marketing, business planning, retail distribution & logistics, direct marketing, market research and general management.
Wessenden’s clients include major companies within the media, logistics, retailing, direct marketing and merchant banking sectors in the UK, Europe, Australia and USA.
He has sat on various committees of the PPA and has written for a number of publications including the Financial Times, The Guardian, Campaign, Media Week, Admap, Retail Newsagent, InPublishing, Marketing Week, World Press Journal, as well as being interviewed on radio and TV.
Katie oversees CX optimisation strategies across acquisition, engagement, product development and retention for all House of Kaizen clients. Katie passionately drives House of Kaizen's CX optimisation into new strategic areas, with a focus on solving new and unique business challenges.
As Creative Editorial Director at Bauer Media in the UK, Lucie leads a 50+ strong creative and production team, responsible for using audience insight and instinct to drive client solutions across Bauer Media’s leading brands. Having held this role since September 2016, Lucie has driven market-beating and award-winning campaigns and commercial partnerships, encompassing video production, stunts, events, product launches and brand extensions. In addition to her main role, Lucie is a journalist, radio host, panel moderator and TV presenter, with slots on ITV’s This Morning, E! and 4music. She is also spearheading Bauer Media’s mental health campaign ‘Where’s Your Head At?’, in partnership with Mental Health First Aid England.
Lucie’s journey with Bauer Media has spanned 13 years; prior to her current role she was Editor-in-Chief at heat magazine for 5 years and was Editor for 2 years before that. Before joining Bauer Media, she was a freelance journalist writing for publications such as The Guardian, The Sun, The Telegraph and was Associate Editor at EMAP.
Gemma Charles is the deputy editor of Campaign. Previously, she held the same role on Marketing
magazine before its merger into Campaign four years ago. She has also worked on Marketing Week,
The Lawyer, social housing journal Inside Housing and has spent time as a freelance journalist.
After running the Marketing department for the last seven years, Reneé has been recently appointed as the Commercial Director of the London Review of Books, Europe’s largest literary magazine. The LRB is a magazine with a great record of success with increasing circulation, a newly-launched website, award-winning e-commerce store and flourishing brand extensions. LRB Ltd. also has a thriving retail space in Bloomsbury which hosts over 70 literary events a year, boasts one of the finest bookshops in the UK and has a bustling café. Reneé is responsible for driving the commercial strategy of the LRB, maintaining the dignity of the brand and providing clear goals, testing methodology, operational implementation and reporting for all commercial activity.
As Chief Brand Officer, Sharon is responsible for the brand and commercial strategies across our Lifestyle and Homes portfolio.
This includes Good Housekeeping, Prima, Red, Country Living, Elle Decoration and House Beautiful.
She is also the senior sponsor within the strategy team for our licensing activities and leads the commercial strategy across our homes, finance, travel and food categories.
Previously, Sharon held positions at Hearst including Consumer Sales and Marketing Director, and New Product Development Director.
Sharon has also held several positions in UK media including, Marketing Director and Deputy Circulation Director at Mirror Group Newspapers.
Laura Kelly Dunlop is a journalist and the Director of the Edinburgh International Magazine Festival, as well as running PPA Scotland. She has contributed interviews, features, commentary, news and reviews to The Big Issue, The Herald, BBC Northern Ireland, The Skinny and street papers around the world. Her regular column for Holyrood magazine saw her named as 2019 Columnist of the Year at the Words by Women Awards.
She has previously been the Arts and Features Editor for The Big Issue, and Editorial and Communications Manager for INSP (International Network of Street Papers), where she managed a news service that went to more than 120 global street papers. Her favourite interviewing moment was explaining the Higgs Boson to David Attenborough.
Peter Gray is a digital experimentation fanatic. He runs the product optimisation team at Dow Jones, the holding company for The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch, and Factiva. His team is responsible for testing new digital experiences across all of Dow Jones’ properties in collaboration with product owners and marketers, unlocking exponential gains hiding in plain sight and baking a real-time customer feedback loop into product roadmaps. His team’s work has lifted WSJ.com’s subscription conversion rate by 64%.
Sally Hampton is a Consumer Magazines Publisher with DC Thomson Media. She oversees a diverse portfolio of UK and Scottish interest magazine brands. Her role involves identifying opportunities to grow existing DC Thomson Media titles through innovation and expansion – and launching new products across a variety of platforms. Most recently, she was a key member of the team that delivered Platinum magazine, one of the biggest launches in consumer magazines in recent times. Sally is currently chair of PPA Scotland.
Claire was appointed Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan in April 2019 and oversees all Cosmopolitan’s brand outputs, including print, digital and experiential.
Claire was made Cosmopolitan’s Digital Editor in November 2015, and promoted to Digital Editorial Director in April last year. Under her leadership, she has successfully quadrupled Cosmopolitan’s digital audience. During her tenure, she also oversaw the launch of Cosmopolitan’s Snapchat Discover channel in 2015, and has grown Cosmopolitan’s social following to over 5.2m.
Whether making content work for new platforms like Snapchat Discover, or developing successful editorially-led commercial campaigns, Claire has an in-depth understanding of millennial women.
Benjamin is responsible for technology and product development at SPRYLAB. He leads the Product Innovation Team who aims to disrupt the digital publishing industry with AI based technology.
Benjamin has in-depth knowledge about Content Intelligence and AI Services. Also, he is the inventor of Purple DS – a multichannel publishing suite used by successful publishers like TI Media, Bauer Media and Newscorp.
Before founding SPRYLAB 12 years ago he worked as computer scientist in the digital publishing industry. Benjamin wants to help publishers to develop new business models and improve existing ones with technology.
Barry McIlheney is CEO of the PPA, the industry body for all UK magazine media. He is the former Editor and Publisher of such iconic brands as Smash Hits, Q, Empire, Elle, and The Face. He sits on the boards of the European Magazine Media Association and FIPP, the global media network. In 2018 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the magazine industry in his native Ireland.
Robin is managing director of Decanter, a premium, multi-platform brand with authoritative wine content at its core. From a magazine heritage, the brand has successfully expanded to build the world’s largest wine awards (Decanter World Wine Awards), the Decanter Asia Wine Awards in Hong Kong, premium wine tasting events in London, Shanghai and New York (Decanter Fine Wine Encounters), a leading wine website at www.decanter.com, and more recently, Decanter Premium, a wine reviews subscription service.
Robin has close to 30 years commercial experience, primarily in the wine business and at Board level. Prior to his appointment at Decanter in 2018, Robin was chief executive for six years at The Wine Society, a customer owned, non-profit co-operative offering a range of over 1,500 wines and spirits to its 150,000 active members. During Robin’s time as CEO, The Wine Society significantly increased membership, sales and its digital footprint. Before this, Robin spent 18 years with Berry Bros & Rudd, starting as duty manager for the business’ first duty free store, progressing to retail director, and in 2006 was promoted to the board as chief operating officer.
Owen was appointed Managing Director at PPA in 2018, with operational responsibility for the association, in addition to leading on external affairs and cross industry engagement. He joined the PPA in 2014 as Director of External Affairs, having previously worked in Parliament, with objective to bolster the industry's external affairs agenda and build the PPA's reputation with stakeholders, including in parliament and government. He has led on a number of cross-industry projects, including the post-Leveson regulatory environment and more recently the #AxeTheReadingTax campaign to end the VAT penalty on digital publications.
Founder of The River Group 25 years ago, and with interests in several other businesses and agencies, Nicki is a marketer by trade. Nicki is passionate about marketing and before founding River had an extensive career in this field, which involved working in magazines, and before that, in marketing for six years at Procter & Gamble. A regular conference speaker, Nicki is also a proud mum of two children and four stepchildren, three dogs and seven cats. She is also an active board member of FIPP, a keen supporter of the PPA, a member of the Marketing Society, and a five-year director and trustee of The Katie Piper Foundation.
About The River Group
The River Group is a 25-year-old full-service content marketing agency based at Marble Arch, London. In an age of content spam, we don’t add to the noise, we make lean content designed on a simple consumer/brand-value equation. Our content combines the new science of digital media and the old artistry of storytelling. We produce content for web, social and print, to address hard-nosed marketing objectives for 24 clients, including Holland & Barrett, Co-op, Superdrug, WW, Cunard and The Ramblers. We have 105 staff, work across 18 international markets and have billings of £16million. The River Group Company consists of The River Group; River Sounds, an award-winning full-service podcasting company; Fish, a content agency focused on membership; and the recently launched Maven Communications PR, agency.
Nic Newman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University where he is lead author of the annual Digital News Report, the world’s largest on-going study of consumer behaviour around news. He authors an influential annual report on media and technology trends and has just published a major report on Podcasting and the Opportunities for Publishers and has written extensively about the wider opportunities around on-demand media.
Nic has also worked as a consultant with a range of media companies helping with product strategy, data, metrics and digital transformation. He was a founding member of the BBC News Website in 1997 where he led international coverage. As Head of Product Development and Engineering for BBC News he helped introduce innovations such as apps, blogs, podcasting and on-demand video. For ten years he led digital teams, developing websites, mobile and interactive TV applications for News, Sport, Weather and Local.
Pete Paphides started his career in music journalism at Melody Maker before going on to write for Time Out, the Guardian, Mojo, Q, Observer Music Monthly and The Times, where he spent five years as their Chief Rock Critic. He has made several music documentaries for BBC Radio 4, including ‘Lost Albums’, ‘Follow-Up Albums’ and the New York Festival Gold Radio Award-winning ‘The Songs of Molly Drake’. He has been a regular contributor to BBC Four music documentaries and he also made a pilot for BBC 6 Music show Vinyl Revival which was later commissioned for two series. Since 2015, he has hosted a weekly music show for Soho Radio. He is married to the writer and journalist Caitlin Moran. Broken Greek is his first book.
Daniel Pearce is CEO and owner of TTG Media. Joining as Editor in 2010, he moved to brand director in 2012 before mounting a management buy-out in 2013 and setting up TTG Media as a wholly independent business. Since then TTG Media has gone from strength to strength, launching a string of new initiatives including the TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies, TTG LGBT events, the ttgluxury Travel Awards, the ttgluxury Travel Summit, new website ttgmedia.com and now the first TTG Diversity & Inclusion in Travel conference. In April this year the business saw a rebrand under a new vision for a ‘Smarter, Better, Fairer’ travel industry – and new investment in print publishing, with weekly magazine TTG still at the heart of the industry 66 years after its first edition.
Richard has been working in the media and advertising industry for more than 30 years, previously recognised by The Drum as one of the 100 most influential people in UK digital advertising. He provides a voice for the online publishing industry through his role as CEO at the AOP, working with major industry bodies, and championing the future of online publishing by driving the AOP’s agenda to tackle key industry issues.
In the last year Richard has been campaigning for better standards and greater differentiators for quality within those standards, improvements to brand safety and the supporting technologies, transparency and accountability, as well as providing collective representation around issues such as privacy and data.
Richard has held senior roles across a variety of sectors including publishing, broadcast, events, digital content, and digital vendor technology businesses.
Behavioural science has touched every chapter of Kimberly's career, informing work placements in social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy, and international development. Within these domains, Kimberly has cultivated a breadth of skills critical to bringing solutions to scale, including market research and analysis, partnership development, and strategic communications.
Currently, Kimberly Richter supports Ogilvy Consulting as an analyst in the Behavioural Science Practice.
Most recently she led a grant-funded experimental study at the London School of Economics exploring the authenticity of Corporate Social Responsibility and its implications for consumer behaviour.
Within previous professional roles, Kimberly has contributed to the brand development of public-private partnerships in the international development space. While working with the U.N. Foundation, she collaborated with entrepreneurial leaders to execute a digital advocacy campaign in support of the United Nations. More recently, she connected start-ups tackling the Sustainable Development Goals to clients and investors through an accelerator program based in Washington D.C. Additionally, Kimberly has advised communication strategies for corporate and non-profit entities alike, including campaigns for Airbus and the Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as activations designed to influence a culture of strategic philanthropy in Colombia.
Kimberly is a 2017 graduate of McGill University with a degree in Psychology and Latin American Studies, and a 2019 graduate of the London School of Economics, where she earned an MSc in Behavioural Economics.
Vicki is responsible for the foundation's grant making function. She leads the Programmes Team who aim to support and scale innovation for the public good. Much of this is achieved through grant making to support innovators directly, both those prototyping new ideas and those scaling evidenced interventions. Our portfolio of live funds currently totals £20m+, using resources from Nesta's endowment and working closely with co-funding partners like DCMS, Cardiff University, Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, EU, Welsh Government and others. We're not limited to grant making though. The Programmes Team also incubate new ideas ourselves, run experiments and trials and convene gatherings to surface the best innovations.
Before joining Nesta in 2012, Vicki led the Young Foundation's public sector and international advisory practice, working with governments around the world, Whitehall departments, and more than 50 local authorities and NHS Trusts to design and embed innovations in public sector service delivery. She began her career supporting regeneration and community initiatives in Sheffield working for both Sheffield City Council and the University of Sheffield.
Vicki is a trustee of Wevolution in Scotland and an active volunteer in her local community. She regularly speaks in the UK and abroad on the subject of public and social innovation and has a long standing interest in people powered public services.
Stuart Sumner is editorial director of Computing and Delta, where he oversees all editorial content across both brands. Since he became editor in 2012 Computing has transformed from a print-focused brand heavily dependent on advertising, to a truly multi-channel property with an award-winning events portfolio, including dining clubs, conferences, festivals, workshops and awards.
He conceived Delta in 2017, going on to launch the service in March 2019, shaking up the market intelligence sector for CIOs. It has garnered a large number of enterprise-level customers from every sector, generating profit in its first year. It has gone on to be a strategically important part of Incisive Media's business, showing incredibly strong year on year growth early on in its lifespan.
He is also a published author, writing about security and privacy.
Sue Todd launched Magnetic, the marketing agency for magazine media, in March 2015, to help customers get the very best return from their advertising spend with magazine media. Working with the UK’s largest consumer publishers, Sue and the Magnetic team have a remit to champion the power and vitality of magazine media in all its forms to the marketing and advertising community.
Sue began her career at EMAP in the research team, working through the ranks to become Marketing and People & Culture Director. From there she spent two years as Marketing Director at CBS Outdoor (now Global), before running specialist brand and culture consultancy Wonder for seven years, where her clients included Channel 4, Harrods, MEC, Mediacom, Maxus, Primesight and Grey.
She is a non-exec Director on the board of The Big Issue and in her spare time enjoys the theatre, podcasts, singing and cycling.
Alex is the newly-appointed Managing Director of the Food Group which includes BBC Good Food and Olive at Immediate Media, having led the digital business for BBC Good Food for 8+ years while at BBC Studios, and assuming responsibility for the broader commercial business for Food shortly after Immediate Media’s acquisition of the brand in 2018. Credited with developing bbcgoodfood.com to becoming the market-leading digital force it is today, Alex has 18 years’ senior experience in the digital, magazine and broadcast media industries. She was the founding Director of the Association of Online Publishers back in 2002.