Monday, June 18 – Wednesday, June 20


Welcome to the consummate “data and diversification” Innovation Mission! Is your company looking to unlock new audience channels and revenue streams to spark growth? Gain a deeper understanding of diversified business models that can thrive? Learn how to leverage data to power all parts of your organization, from audience development to sales forecasting? Great! This IM is built for you.


On June 18-20, we are headed back to the Bay Area for an immersive set of meetings with progressive and transforming traditional media, compelling “digital native” publishers, emerging audience platforms, and leading data providers. Take advantage of unique access to senior leadership at these companies, plus first-rate networking with your peers. You’ll head home inspired, and with a notebook packed with actionable ideas!

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“You will be outside your regular peer group, with exposure to people and ideas in an immersive environment that you can’t often find elsewhere. The information shared, relationships developed, and ideas generated will offer opportunities that can be pursued for months. You can’t replicate the experience in the office or at a conference. It’s uniquely valuable.”
Bob Woodward, Vice President, Strategic Planning and Business Development, Woodward Communications

The 2018 San Francisco IM takes place June 18 through June 20, and the cost is $2,695. This includes hotel rooms, all meals, and ground transportation in between visits. Attendees are only responsible for their airfare to and from SF and transportation to and from the airport. Registrations are taken on a first come, first served basis. The IM is limited to only 15 participants and will sell out quickly.


Monday, June 18 (all times Pacific)

2:00 p.m.: Innovation Mission kickoff

Attendees share their strategic priorities and goals for the trip

3:30-5:00 p.m.: NerdWallet– Maggie Leung, VP Content

This “digital-native” publisher has raised $105 million to build a personalized finance website that helps consumers make financial decisions by comparing products. The site positions itself as “tailored advice, content, and tools to ensure you’re getting more from your money.” NerdWallet also has a compelling business model that includes sponsored products, ecommerce, and content licensing. IM attendees will get an inside look at NerdWallet’s unique model from their VP of Content, Maggie Leung (formerly CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post).

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Nuzzel – Jonathan Abrams, Founder & CEO

Born out of the Matter accelerator, Nuzzel was originally created as a news monitoring service for media professionals. It has since expanded into a full set of brand intelligence and research tools for sales teams, marketers, investors, business owners and more. Nuzzel’s CEO will share how numerous industries are utilizing brand intelligence to make more informed decisions, and what this means for local media companies looking to forge deeper audience connections.

7:00 p.m.: Group Dinner

Tuesday, June 19 (all times Pacific)

9:00-10:30 a.m.: Hoodline – Jason Hwang, Head of Partnerships; Eric Eldon, Editor-in-Chief

Hoodline positions itself as “the nearby button” of the Internet by powering local content discovery. The VC-backed platform partners with 300+ content distributors and enables media companies and consumer sites from Advance Local to McClatchy to Nextdoor to publish relevant, hyperlocal content to their audiences. The company is now launching geo and category-targeted content widgets for publisher pages to replace low-quality Outbrain and Taboola experiences. Hyperlocal content can create relevance and value at scale, and the Hoodline founders will demonstrate how.

11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.: San Francisco Chronicle – Ginger Neal, SVP Sales; Others TBD

From a brand studio to successful content verticals, voice assistant experiments with Amazon and Google to full sales transformation, the venerable SF Chronicle is a company on the move! In this signature visit, SVP of Sales Ginger Neal and other members of the senior leadership team will go deep on the Chronicle’s full transformation plan – audience, revenue, sales, talent and culture. This is a meeting that’s sure to resonate with media leaders.

2:30-5:30 p.m.: Google / YouTube– David Brooks & Megan Favat, Google News; Matt Villacarte, Google News Consumer Insights; Uzo Ometu, YouTube

In this private meeting with multiple teams, attendees will get answers to these questions, and more:

  • How can media companies utilize Google’s News Consumer Insights benchmarking to measure audience and traffic source value? How can this data inform product, marketing and conversion strategies?
  • What are the immediate opportunities to take advantage of the recently-announced “Subscribe with Google” program?
  • Smart audio is a booming opportunity – how can you diversify your voice assistant strategy with Google Home? Is there money to be made today?
  • How can local media build YouTube channels with large, engaged audiences? What are the accessible revenue opportunities, including with the YouTube player that can be installed on publisher sites?

6:00-7:00 p.m.: Happy Hour with Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier  

7:00 p.m.: Group Dinner

Wednesday, June 20 (all times Pacific)

8:30-10:30 a.m.: Advance Local Alpha Group – David Cohn, Senior Director, Alpha Group (Advance innovation lab)

The 100+ year-old traditional media company has created a San Francisco-based innovation hub, Alpha Group, to operate independently with the charter to build and test new products. David Cohn (founding editor of Circa) is charged with leading the Alpha Group. In this in-depth meeting, he will share his learnings and best practices for building a successful innovation lab within a legacy media enterprise.

11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Anaplan – Jason Loh, Global Head of Sales Solutions

Performance management and sales forecasting – they are two of the most challenging parts of any media company. Anaplan creates better ways to do both through a data and intelligence platform that enables more informed decision making. Learn how “connected planning” can help your media company confidently build more accurate sales forecasts and compensation plans, and achieve more efficient workforce management.

2:30-4:00 p.m.: The Information– Jessica Lessin, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

In just four years, The Information has exploded from a little-known startup to an influential digital publisher acclaimed for its deeply-reported, unique coverage of the technology industry. CEO Jessica Lessin has built a diversified revenue model centered on subscriptions. It’s far more than just paying for content, though. Subscribers join a high-powered private community that they can interact with, engage with The Information’s journalists on conference calls, and get VIP access to live events. There’s also an Accelerator to help new digital publishers scale faster with their subscription-focused businesses. Lessin will give attendees the full story on The Information, including how she built its business model and where the company is headed next.

4:30-6:00 p.m.: Innovation Mission wrap-up

Attendees share their key takeaways and action items