Local Media Association Hires Strategist Jed Williams as Chief Innovation Officer

Two new initiatives to be led by Williams

The Local Media Association, which has become the predominant organization for all local media companies to unite, share information and network, has announced the hiring of Jed Williams for the newly created Chief Innovation Officer position. Most recently Williams was the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Vendasta.

Williams brings a deep understanding of the local media space having served for 4 years as a Senior Analyst and Vice President of Strategic Consulting for BIA/Kelsey. He also brings considerable growth-stage technology and startup experience from his time as Director of Business Development for Main Street Hub, as well as his tenure at Vendasta. Williams is a Roy H. Park Graduate Fellow with a Masters of Media Business degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His insights on media disruption and transformation have been cited by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Bloomberg, FOX Business and the BBC. His work has also been published by the Columbia Journalism School and the Yale School of Management.

“Jed is a game-changing hire for us,” said LMA President Nancy Lane. “He brings a unique background to the position and we couldn’t be more excited to have him join our team. We are also announcing two new initiatives today that will go a long way in helping local media companies with their transformation plans. One is the expansion of our Innovation Mission to include three shorter regional tours in 2017. The other is the creation of the LMA Chief Digital Club, a peer network that will foster industry idea sharing and collaboration. Jed will develop and lead both of these efforts.”

The Chief Digital Club will pair groups of 12 digital-leaders together (from like-size companies with similar levels of digital sophistication) for the purpose of sharing ideas, networking and learning. Local market competitors will not be placed in the same group. NDAs will be required and the groups will meet monthly via video calls. Williams will lead and moderate these groups. There will be opportunities for the groups to meet in-person. These groups will also have access to closed door calls with executives at companies, such as Facebook, to discuss issues of importance, opportunities and concerns. The cost is only $99/month and is capped at 48 people (four groups of 12) for 2017. For more information and to apply, click here.

The first 3-day regional Innovation Mission will take place February 6-8 in Austin and Dallas with visits scheduled to Facebook’s SMB headquarters, the Dallas Morning News, Texas Tribune, Incite (a division of Emmis Communications), GateHouse News & Design Center, Tiger Pistol, OwnLocal, Simpli.fi, and more. For more information and to register, click here. A second regional IM will take place in Silicon Valley and a third one in the Northeast. The flagship 6-day Innovation Mission takes place May 21-26 and is sold out (email lindsey.estes@nulllocalmedia.org to be added to the waiting list).

Williams said, “I am thrilled and humbled to join the Local Media Association, a dynamic group doing truly important work. Local media has always been my deepest passion. To have the opportunity to serve as a champion for innovation and transformation across the entire industry is a dream come true. It also carries a purpose-driven responsibility that I embrace with open arms. I’m eager to embark on new initiatives and programs that enable our members – and all local media organizations – to collaborate effectively to create a sustainable, profitable future.”

The Local Media Association is a thriving and innovative association that serves local media companies (newspapers, TV, radio, directories, pure plays, and more) as well as research and development partners in the industry. LMA assists local media companies with the digital transition via cutting-edge programs, conferences, webinars, research and training. It is intensely focused on helping local media companies discover new and sustainable business models. http://localmedia.org