News Take Episode 102: Tech Trends: What Publishers Need to Know

Guests: Aram Zucker-Scharff, The Washington Post

“For the first time, we actually have the potential to create a real shift that benefits our users, our business, and our society, and that’s a win, win, win.” – Aram Zucker-Scharff on the shift to contextual-based targeting

Ad tech, Privacy and Performance, oh my! News publishers working to adapt to a privacy-first digital landscape before the inevitable end of the third-party cookie can easily become overwhelmed and may not even know where to start.

What does the shift towards privacy mean for news publishers and how they approach ad targeting? Is decreased reliance on third-party tracking a good thing for the industry? What are Core Web Vitals and why should news publishers care? How does my news site’s performance tie in to reader trust? What are things publishers can do right now to improve site performance? What is W3C and how can publishers take advantage to get their voices heard?

These questions and more will be discussed on this episode of News Take. News Media Alliance President & CEO David Chavern had an energizing conversation with Aram Zucker-Scharff, Engineering Lead for Privacy & Security Compliance at The Washington Post, that got in-the-weeds about the kitchen sink of ad tech topics, including site monetization; improving privacy and the user experience; optimizing site performance using Core Web Vitals; and more.

This episode was so full of interesting facts and actionable insights, we didn’t want it to end. The nuggets of wisdom will come faster than you can write them down, so it’s a good thing this conversation was recorded and you can re-watch it to your heart’s content!

Listen now or download the audio file to listen offline:

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Download closed captioning transcript

Speaker bio

Aram Zucker-Scharff is the Engineering Lead for Privacy & Security Compliance at The Washington Post, where he works with publishers to maximize site performance and revenue. He has also worked on The Post’s Ad Tech R&D and Big Data teams. Aram has developed open-source tools for publishers and consulted on content strategy and digital newsroom workflows. He was one of Folio Magazine’s 15 under 30 in the magazine media industry.

Related reading

“Why The Ad Industry Should Care About Core Web Vitals – And The Impact For Publishers Who Ignore The Dreaded ‘Layout Shift’” (AdExchanger) – by Amanda Hicks, director of product for The Washington Post’s Research, Experimentation & Development (RED) team.


Watch the next episode: Leveraging Products to Connect with Your Audience

Watch the previous episode: Local News: Understanding What Readers Want and How to Deliver it to Them

View all episodes


Send us your suggestions

Send your suggestions for future News Take guests to Alliance VP, Research & Insights Rebecca Frank at

News Take Production Team:

Host and Executive Producer: Rebecca Frank, VP, Research & Insights, News/Media Alliance

Production Support, Editing & Distribution:

Georgi-Ann Clarke, Social Media & Content Manager, News/Media Alliance
Rachel Fox, Manager, Membership & Events, News/Media Alliance
Lindsey Loving, Director, Communications, News/Media Alliance

Audio & Video Engineer: Current Media Group

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