- Kirsten Ballard
Seth Rogin is President & CEO of Nucleus Marketing Solutions, a new company founded by Hearst,
Gannett, McClatchy and Tribune to drive innovation and multi-platform media sales for the news industry. From 2013 until 2016, he was Mashable’s Chief Revenue Officer, driving rapid growth of a diverse revenue portfolio. In 2015, he was inducted into MIN’s Media Sales Hall of Fame and “One of the 30 best people in advertising to follow on Twitter” by Business Insider.
1. What drew you into working in media?
There’s not a person on Earth who started their lives hoping to be a media executive. It’s not something they teach you is an option in school. I’ve always had love and respect for a well-told true story, and the power it has to inform and inspire people. I started as a playwright (and not a good one). After seeing my play, the staff of a small magazine covering the Arts asked me to intern and then write. It became clear a few months later that they weren’t doing well as a business, and that people for whom I cared very much, and their journalism, would suffer. I took on the role of Associate Publisher, and hopped on the phone at the age of 21 selling ads to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. The business took off, and I realized that I could contribute to journalism and creativity that I valued in a way that I never expected.
2. What was the inspiration behind Nucleus Marketing Solutions?
Nucleus is an urgently needed creation for our time. The life of a CMO, or that of a decision maker at an agency, is more complex than ever. And yet the simple truth that environment matters, that where your brand is seen reflects how your brand is seen, seems to have been lost in the very valid race for efficiencies. What I’ve seen is that smart marketers know that great brands are enhanced when seen in great environments and that there’s a balance between seeking the best rate and the prime adjacency.
Nucleus has created a one-stop, one-bill opportunity to buy print and digital, regardless of platform, to reach nearly every American consumer in an environment that matters to her: one she trusts to make her smarter and more connected. No longer do marketers need to choose between trust and scale.
3. Where do you see Nucleus Marketing Solutions in a year? In five years?
Nucleus will continue to build on the great work of this industry and to build advertising by serving the needs of today’s most demanding global brands. When we deliver better ROI for those brands and serve the creation of journalism that matters, we’ll be on our way to making the mark we seek. In five years, brands won’t be asking if they’re on a static social platform or a chatting environment; they’ll be asking why anyone ever stopped demanding that their brand only be seen in places and on platforms that drive results and enhance perception of their brands.
4. How will your experience at Mashable and The New York Times help you in your new role?
I couldn’t have asked for better experiences at either one. I was honored to the have the opportunity to support the important journalism of The Times for more than a decade. In that time period, we invented new products and re-invented ones that needed it. We should all be rooting for serious journalism, the kind that costs money and is supported by dedicated subscribers, advertisers, and investors. It’s crucial to the survival and improvement of our society. At Mashable, I learned how to bring the start-up energy and the pace innovation demands to a community of advertisers and brands that are hungry to get things right instantly. In many ways, I’d say that a balance between understanding how to connect brands with serious news at one place, and how to use creativity, speed, and scale at the other were perfect training for this role.
Nucleus is in the business of bringing the best of innovative data use, scale, speed, and quality to connect national and global brands with the highly active consumers in the audiences of the most important news organizations in the country.
5. Where do you see the future of media?
We live in a moment of immense change in the media, but when in the last 20 years hasn’t that been the case? I’ve never seen a day (and I doubt most people reading this have) when we all sat back and celebrated the concrete beneath our feet. If you don’t like constant change, this is the wrong industry for you. But if you believe, as I do, that journalism is the oxygen of democracy, that people are freer, and more equal when a populace is truthfully informed, then there couldn’t be a more exciting time to be doing what we do. We’re crafting the most pivotal moments of change in one of the most crucial industries. It’s these times when we get to define and sculpt the change that defines legacies.
Nucleus will serve brands well; and so, we’ll serve the journalism and its audience well.
Five Answers is a weekly series that features a member of the newspaper industry answering five questions. If you’d like to participate, email Kirsten Ballard.