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Zillah Byng-Thorne is chief executive of Future plc. Founded in 1985, the leading publisher produces some of the UK’s most popular magazines, including Country Life, FourFourTwo, Marie Claire and The Week. Joining Future in 2014, Zillah has presided over a spectacular turnaround in the company’s fortunes - publishing 160 titles, and expanding the brand’s portfolio to include video games and digital magazines; and in 2020, they ventured into e-commerce, purchasing insurance company for £590m. Under Zillah’s watch, their share price has soared, and the company is now valued at £4bn. In this in-depth interview, she shares her career journey - starting out as an accountant in working-class Glasgow before a dramatic pivot saw her set her sights on leading a large company, starting with a masters in behavioural change to build her leadership skills; shares the secrets behind Future’s strategy, resulting in 80% growth and £600m+ revenue despite the pandemic; and passionately argues that Future “has a moral responsibility, as much as a business responsibility, to maintain the quality and accuracy of its content.”
Erin McCarthy is editor-in-chief of Mental Floss. Founded in a university dorm room in 2001, the intellectual trivia brand for “curious people” blurs the lines between entertainment and education, and its “smart, quirky content” has reached over 1 billion people across multiple platforms including print, online, YouTube and podcasting. Joining in 2012, Erin hosts many of their most popular YouTube shows, and edited their book ‘The Curious Reader;’ as well as creating, producing, and hosting the ‘History Vs.’ podcast - which discusses “how historical figures faced off against their greatest foes.” In this in-depth interview, Erin discusses the growth of their YouTube channel which now has more than 1 million subscribers - covering a mammoth range of topics, from archaeology to mashed potato; explains why podcast episodes are her favourite part of the job - offering her the chance to provide in-depth analysis of a fascinating topic; and given the niche and eclectic nature of their work, delves into the detailed process fact-checking to make sure they get everything right - consulting with an array of independent fact-checkers, cross-referencing all their content before sharing it with the world.
James Bloodworth is an author and political journalist. A former editor of the blog Left Foot Forward, James’ work has appeared in The Guardian, The Spectator, the New Statesman and The Wall Street Journal. Author of ‘The Myth of Meritocracy’ and ‘Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low Wage Britain', his work was long-listed for the 2019 Orwell Prize. In this in-depth interview, James discusses his experience going undercover in the low wage economy for his book ‘Hired’ - and why a number of his discoveries, including Amazon workers urinating in coke bottles, made international news; reflects on his political journey, from Trotskyism and ultimately moving to the progressive centre-left - recently reserving his most strident criticism for his former far-left colleagues; and shares the plans for his next book which tracks how people become “radicalised into the manosphere” - arguing the growth of toxic masculinity and how our shared complacency ignores a very real threat.
Ricky Sutton is the founder of Oovvuu, the world’s leading AI video-matching engine. Launched in Australia in 2014, Oovvuu uses AI to match ad-funded videos with relevant news articles anywhere in the world instantly. The business has 600 participating broadcasters and its content is seen by millions of people daily. In this in-depth interview, Ricky reflects on starting out in his career and why he decided at the age of 12 he wanted to be a war correspondent; delves into how Oovvuu helps welcome a “new era of positive disruption in news” by adding relevant videos into news articles; and shares why he believes the companies that don’t make the change to embrace video “might not survive.”
Jason Cowley is an author, writer and editor-in-chief of the New Statesman. Since taking the reins in 2008, Jason has pushed the political and cultural magazine’s print circulation to a 40-year high. The publication’s longest-serving editor since the 1960s, he previously held staff roles for both The Times and The Observer. In this in-depth interview, Jason details how he used the time during lockdown to redesign the magazine’s branding - and launched a new “elegantly designed” website; shares his bold plans to grow the title worldwide, and how new political editor Andrew Marr is the first of many big-name signings to come; and discusses his latest book ‘Who Are We Now? Stories of Modern England’ - which uses key news stories from recent years to determine the state of the nation, and how it has evolved.
Galen Gordon is senior vice president of talent strategy and development at ABC News. An award-winning journalist with more than 25 years experience in both network TV news and sports, he was previously a producer for the likes of NBC, CNN and ESPN. In his current role, based in New York, Galen ensures that ABC News reflects the society it serves - both on-air and behind the camera. In this in-depth interview, Galen argues that - as well as being the right thing to do - promoting diversity gives the company an edge over other newsrooms, and ensures they hire the very best people; takes us behind the scenes of what a TV news producer actually does - from deciding what to cover, and ensuring the result on-screen is visually engaging; and reflects on his sabbatical from journalism to work at the NFL where he was in charge of talent management for the league’s media division.
Darren Scott is editor of SFX, the world’s most successful sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine. Approaching three decades of success, it is the market leader - and takes in films and comics, as well as games. Darren previously wrote for The Guardian and The Independent; and spent 10 years as editor of Gay Times, the largest, longest-running and most-recognised LGBTQ+ media brand. In this in-depth interview, Darren explains how there was no such thing as a typical week for him before the pandemic - and shares his pleasure at different aspects of his role as editor slowly returning to their in-person forms; takes us behind the scenes - walking us through a complete timeline of bringing an issue from initial ideas to print; and discusses how they retain their “old school fanbase” that have supported them for nearly 30 years through keeping the physical magazine copy, whilst also developing their presence online and on social media.
London N. Breed is the Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco. The untimely death of her predecessor Ed Lee in December 2017 saw Breed appointed acting mayor, and the following year she won a special election and gained a mandate in her own right - becoming the first-ever Black woman elected to the role. Since taking the reins of the city, Mayor Breed has spearheaded its Covid recovery programme, making public safety and affordable housing her priorities in office. San Francisco has a proud history of encouraging female political leadership - with many of its luminaries going on to hold national office; including Vice-President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In this in-depth interview, Mayor Breed reflects on how growing up in an underprivileged part of the city gave her the determination to fight injustice and speak up for the most vulnerable; shares how she is tackling the huge disparity between the most and least fortunate in her community - and how she is addressing the city’s “complicated” history with law enforcement - balancing the need to support the police, who put their safety at risk to keep everybody safe, with protecting marginalised groups from excessive use of police force; and discusses with pride how the city’s subsided medical care programme boosted its response to Covid - and her hopes that universal healthcare will ultimately be extended to the whole of the United States.
Nathalie Cox is an actor, model and co-founder of CountryLine, a global media brand and community uniting country music fans around the world. Launching five years ago, Natalie’s role as creative director involves capitalising on a surge of interest in country music worldwide. The subscription service offers fans access to backstage interviews, exclusive sessions, gig guides and tickets. In this in-depth interview, Nathalie delves into turning her passion for country music into a business and making the genre easily accessible to British fans; discusses their acquisition of the UK’s leading country music station, Chris Country, which they’ve rebranded as CountryLine Radio; and delves into her work outside of country music as a successful model and actor, sharing how she “fell” into both industries.
Richard Bernabe is an internationally acclaimed wildlife and travel photographer. Throughout his career, he has travelled to over 60 countries to capture incredible shots of the natural world on behalf of National Geographic, CNN, the New York Times, and the BBC. He has also built a significant following online, amassing a reach of over one million followers on both Instagram and Twitter, and has been named by Huffington Post as one of the most influential photographers on the web. In this in-depth interview, Richard winds back the clock and shares what inspired him to become a wildlife photographer; reflects on how he’s tried to give back to the photography community by writing books and running training workshops for people picking up their cameras for the first time; and discusses the successful launch of his own podcast ‘Beyond The Lens’ - and the unexpected advantages that discussing a visual medium through audio can bring.
Michael Ornstein is an actor, writer and visual artist. He began his creative career as an actor in New York, taking in 25 years on and off Broadway, before moving into film and television - where he is perhaps best-known for playing Chucky in the TV shows ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and ‘Mayans M.C.’ In recent years, he has shifted his primary focus to another of his great passions - painting. In this in-depth interview, Michael talks us through his varied and accomplished career, and how choosing to pursue the creative arts from a young age “gave me a purpose in life;” reflects on the nature of fame and celebrity, and how the blessing of playing such memorable a role as Chucky has come with the typecasting curse, where he is often seen as the character rather than as himself; and talks about how his creative career journey has culminated in monetising his most enjoyable pursuit - painting - through the fascinating new medium of NFTs.
Darren Marble and Todd Goldberg are co-founders of the TV show ‘Going Public.’ The series streams on the ‘Entrepreneur’ platform and charts the rise of founders on their capital-raising journeys - uniquely allowing viewers to ‘click-to-invest’ in the featured companies in real-time, live, while they watch the show. They’re currently halfway through season one and have already bagged 10 million views, 25 million ad impressions and 200k website visits - as well as raising over $10 million so far for the companies taking part. In this in-depth interview, they talk through their five-year journey of bringing the show from an idea to fruition; delve into why they engaged a ‘digital first’ broadcast strategy - and how the platform gives them to freedom “create content which is both entertaining & actionable;” and discuss their ambitious plans to ultimately rival globally recognisable brands such as ‘Shark Tank’ - guided by their deep access to data-driven insights revealing how viewers interact with the platform.
Sarabeth Berman is chief executive of the American Journalism Project, a philanthropic organisation which supports local non-profit newsrooms. The project’s mission is to accelerate the sustainable growth of regional news for the long term. In this in-depth interview, Sarabeth discusses the “real harm” to communities that the decline of local news has caused - and the “lack of transparency and accountability local governments enjoy as a result;” outlines their approach - partnering with communities, coaching leaders and sustaining their offices; and argues that society has been complacent in ignoring the dangerous implications of empty local newsrooms, which the pandemic has shown can be a matter of life and death. 
Simon Leslie is the founder and joint chief executive of Ink. Founded in 1994, they are the world’s leading travel media company, producing 33 in-flight magazines for 24 airlines worldwide, including many of the largest carriers in the world, such as Easyjet and Virgin Atlantic. In this in-depth interview, Simon talks through the “incredible challenge” the pandemic caused the air travel industry, tackling the terrible devastation that the global depression bought on both aerospace and adjacent industries such as media; discusses the “enforced pivot” covid bought them, and his determination to “seize the opportunity to transform the company,” and grow in a new direction producing airport television and digital content; and shares how his latest book ‘White Belt Thinking’ documented these recent challenges and the “cathartic experience.”
Christopher Snowdon is a libertarian writer, commentator and self-styled “scourge of the nanny statists.” He joined the Institute of Economic Affairs in 2012 as their head of lifestyle economics, where his work focuses on social freedoms and what he sees as “the dangers of prohibition.” He often appears on TV and radio programmes offering a contrarian view on political topics and lifestyle choices, and writes regularly for a number of titles, including Spiked, The Critic and The Daily Telegraph. In this in-depth interview, Christopher discusses why Covid has been “a challenge” for libertarians' and criques the UK government's response as “very bad in 2020, and pretty good in 2021;” argues passionately why he believes “it’s not the government's job to interfere with people’s personal choices” which often leads to repercussions of what he defines as “victimless crimes;” and delves into his book ‘Killjoys: A Critique of Paternalism’ which makes the case that the government is too intrusive in our lives, particularly with health restrictions such as sugar intake and smoking.
Harry Jarman is founder and editor-in-chief of Gentleman’s Journal, the men’s luxury lifestyle magazine. Launched in 2011, the print edition regularly sells 35,000 copies, and overall monthly reach online regularly exceeds one million. It has expanded to include both its own e-commerce website, and a creative agency which builds campaigns for fashion clients. In this in-depth interview, Harry reflects on how the journey began, spotting a gap in the market when he was unable to promote his swimwear brand; argues that print is “enjoying a renaissance” and is “far from dead,” driving yet more traffic to their website; and shares his ambition to grow the company’s retail operation, building on the successful launch of their first shop in London’s Mayfair.
Christopher Lamb is the Vatican correspondent for The Tablet. Founded in 1840, the weekly journal is a hugely influential voice amongst the 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide. Joining in 2009 from the Daily Telegraph, he also appears regularly on TV news around the world. In this in-depth interview, Christopher reflects on the depth of his access to the Vatican, and his ringside seat witnessing Pope Francis’ battle to modernise the church - suggesting “the forces seeking to block a Pope’s agenda” have “not been this powerful since the Renaissance;” reflects on Pope Francis, the human being - “a reforming, enigmatic figure,” whose unique journey to becoming Pope has shaped a progressive, forward-thinking outlook - and leads him to challenge the church on clerical sexual abuse, injustice, and the exploitation of the world’s most vulnerable people - including refugees and those in poverty; and shares the nuts and bolts of how the Pope has harnessed modern media management techniques to improve the Vatican’s communication.
Batya Ungar-Sargon is deputy opinion editor of Newsweek, and author of ‘Bad News: How Woke Media is Undermining Democracy.’ Before Newsweek, Batya was opinion editor of The Forward, the largest Jewish media outlet in America, and has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, and appears regularly on MSNBC and CNN. In this in-depth interview, Batya argues that mainstream news is “no longer just liberal,” but by being “woke” is “abandoning the working class by creating a culture war around identity;” argues “the media chasing the profit through outrage” is leading to the current crisis of misinformation and so-called fake news; and expresses her anguish that opinions have become so polarised - appealing for people “to find ways to meet people who you disagree with.”
Jolyon ‘Jon’ Connell is a journalist-turned-entrepreneur who founded the hugely successful global magazine The Week. His new venture ‘The Knowledge’ monitors hundreds of news media and compiles the very best stories into one weekly, easy-to-digest newsletter. Jon started his career at The Sunday Times, later becoming deputy editor of The Sunday Telegraph, leaving in 1994 to launch The Week - which now has editions in the UK, US and Australia, and was sold to Dennis Publishing in 2018. In this in-depth interview, Jon shares his ambitious plans for his new venture, building on a major investment from Lord Rothermere, to deliver “all the wisdom of the week in one place;” talks about why his daughter Flora gave up her promising career as a popstar to become a partner in The Knowledge and ensure it appeals to readers of all ages; and reflects on the “rollercoaster” journey of founding The Week, which he “grew out of impatience and laziness” - and which went on to become a global phenomenon. 
Simon Walker is a media entrepreneur, and founder of Marquee TV, a streaming platform which brings live performances to a global audience and was recently described by The Financial Times as ‘Netflix for the arts’. In a career spanning senior management roles at the BBC, EMAP and EMI Music, Simon has been at the heart of the entertainment industry’s transformation to digital for nearly three decades. In this in-depth interview, Simon shares how Marquee TV “provided a lifeline” to arts organisations during lockdown, giving them a platform to stream dance, theatre and opera - and generating much-needed survival revenue; explains how they cater for “an underserved audience” and why niche platforms work alongside - not against - the streaming giants; and proudly shares the success of Countryline, his new venture serving country music fans - which is set to launch its new weekly TV show broadcasting live from Nashville, and has just secured investment from Sir Elton John.
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