The 2016 Folio: 100 — Up-and-Coming Trailblazers
Recognizing the most forward-thinking and innovative leaders in magazine media.
Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson
Site Director, Veranda (Hearst)
CUMBERBATCH ANDERSON HAS TURNED VERANDA.COM INTO A MOBILE POWERHOUSE, GROWING ITS AUDIENCE AT AN UNPRECEDENTED RATE.
With Cumberbatch Anderson leading the charge, Veranda’s mobile audience saw a 337 percent increase in unique visitors — some of the highest mobile audience growth in the industry. And with mobile often considered the acme for digital consumption, Cumberbatch Anderson’s ability to drive magazine content consumption in the new media landscape is all the more impressive.
Cumberbatch Anderson, who directs digital editorial for both Veranda.com and ElleDecor.com, is a veteran writer, editor, and content strategist with over a decade of experience creating engaging lifestyle content for print and the web. She joined Hearst in April 2015 after four years at The Huffington Post.
MELISSA CHOWNING HAS TAKEN AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS TO HEIGHTS BEYOND MOST NATIONAL TITLES, MAKING HER A LEADING FORCE IN THE CITY AND REGIONAL MAGAZINE SPACE.
Under Chowning’s efforts, the consumer database for D Magazine’s titles has grown into a full-fledged marketing powerhouse for the organization. By incorporating all of the publication’s audiences into a single database — including event attendees, award winners, advertisers, and print subscribers — she’s nearly doubled the amount of nominations for the publication’s awards programs, increased paid subscriptions by 15 percent, and enabled her department to produce events specifically for niche audiences.
Using first-party data acquired through her efforts, Chowning generated $20,000 in ticket revenue for a first-time networking event for business women. Additionally, she’s developed email programs to engage loyal D Magazine consumers in new and exciting ways, including birthday messages, which garner an impressive 60 percent open rate while generating $15,000 of digital ad revenue in its first few months. This program won the company a Folio: Marketing Award in 2015.
GRETCHEN TIBBITS LEADS THIS SWIFTLY GROWING SOCIAL-FIRST PROPERTY, RANKED FIFTH IN MOBILE VIEWS, WITH 75 MILLION VISITORS MONTHLY.
Since June 2015, Tibbits has been the COO of LittleThings.com, which was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in New York City. LittleThings employs a growing team of over 50 producers, writers, designers, and management staff who are committed exclusively to up-beat content. Its expert writers focus on researching and developing stories that appeal to a growing monthly readership of 75 million visitors; and, since its launch, LittleThings has experienced explosive growth, becoming the fifth-ranked mobile and 21st-largest website in the U.S.
Formerly an employee of Hearst and Maxim, Tibbits has over 20 years of management, strategy, branding, acquisition, and finance experience.
WILL FRIEND IS LEADING GROWTH AT THE EXPANDING B2B COMPANY WITH AN OFFBEAT ATTITUDE AND AN EVENTS-FIRST FOCUS.
Friend is growing Bisnow, a commercial real estate media company that produces nearly 300 live events across North America, and taking the brand overseas — the company is launching a new event in Friend’s hometown of London on October 27. Since being promoted to CEO in 2014, Friend has moved Bisnow headquarters to New York, and facilitated a change in ownership. The current management team and The Wicks Group, a private equity firm, bought out the original founders in April, leading to a bit of a reinvention of the brand.
Founded in 2005 and known for a self-aware, slightly irreverent tone atypical of trade media — the company’s slogan is “(Almost) Never Boring" — Bisnow has spent the last decade growing from a digital newsletter to a leading player in commercial real estate media. The site attracts over 400,000 unique web visitors each month as well as 60,000 attendees to its various events throughout the year.