Accelerate Local: Meet the team

With expertise in startups, digital transformation, product development, traditional media and strategy, the Accelerate Local senior team is well positioned to work on future business models that will support a healthy local news ecosystem.

Here are the people who will guide the development, operation and growth of Accelerate Local.

Jed Williams: Innovation and transformation aren't just buzz words. They don't occur by accident or by chance.

Jed WilliamsLMA’s chief strategy officer and principal architect of Accelerate Local, is relentlessly focused on forging new, profitable paths for media. He built LMA’s unique experiential learning programs, started its strategic consulting practice, and expanded its Innovation Missions. In previous roles, he built marketplaces, launched new business units, and led numerous cross-functional teams. He is a builder and entrepreneur at heart.

“Incremental growth simply isn’t enough in a climate of rapid change and significant creative destruction. The time for transformational thinking – and action – is now.”

Peter Newton: The market has changed faster than local media companies have. That needs to change. Now. Fast. Accelerate Local is that catalyst.

Peter Newton, managing director of Accelerate Local, thrives on transformation. Most recently Chief Operating Officer of GateHouse Media, he’s built innovative new business approaches in local media and digital companies: Propel Marketing/Thrive, UpCurve and consumer data at GateHouse Media, SMB/Media Alliances at Monster.com and the ground-breaking BostonWorks recruitment division at the Boston Globe.

“It starts with understanding the customer, whether that’s consumer or business.  Putting yourself in their shoes,” Newton says. “Then thinking with no boundaries about how to best meet their needs.”

Nancy Lane: “The local media company of the future will look very different than it does today. Only those companies that are willing to think and act like disruptors will survive. Accelerate Local is an ambitious undertaking designed to tackle future business models in new and exciting ways. We’re talking about big and bold ideas that have yet to be vetted and tested. We’re out to change the trajectory of the local media industry and ensure a bright future for local news.”

Nancy Lane, LMA’s president, understands the challenges better than most. She spent the last 19 years helping local media companies with their transformation strategies. She is the 2019 recipient of the Borrell Award of Merit, presented each year to an executive who has done the most to foster innovation in the local media industry. Prior to joining LMA in 2000, she was a publisher at numerous Journal Register Co. newspapers over a span of 8.5 years, running operations as large as $50 million.

Jay Small: Gone are the days when local media proprietors could add a niche special section, or a half-hour to the newscast lineup, and check the innovation box. Our industry needs new paths to a vigorous future. I know of no better way to find them than the formula LMA has set out with Accelerate Local.

Jay Small, LMA’s chief innovation officer, should know. He has led digital businesses, operations and development for media companies including Cordillera Communications, The E.W. Scripps Co., Belo Corp., Central Newspapers, and Thomson Consumer Electronics. In every case, Small says, he guided attempts at innovation and new business models under all kinds of frameworks and processes.

“If nothing else, I learned what not to do and how not to do it, and that’s a big part of finding new paths that might just lead us somewhere great.”

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