From a media personnel perspective, the most intriguing aspect of Slovakian startup Piano Media’s acquisition of much larger U.S. paywall services firm Press+ is the individual they’ve snared to run the merged entity. Poynter’s Rick Edmonds spoke to Kelly Leach, formerly the publisher of the Wall Stret Journal‘s European edition, to ask why she decided to make this somewhat unorthodox career move:
“I really believe in the paid digital model, and I did when not very many others did…” she said. “It’s an area I’m passionate about. We have seen this wave working its way around the world and at the same time we are realizing that digital ads alone won’t carry the day.”
Leach worked with [Press+ co-founder Gordon] Crovitz in the early 2000s, when he was Wall Street Journal publisher, and the Journal was among the first to introduce digital subscriptions. (Closing the Dow-Jones loop, she was recruited for the job by [Piano Media communications director] David Brauchli’s brother, Marcus, a former editor of the Journal and later the Washington Post).
Crovitz and Press+ co-founder Steven Brill remained on board as co-CEOs after their company was sold in 2011 to RR Donnelly. But as part of this new transaction, they will both shift to advisory roles. Read the rest of Edmond’s item here.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Newsweek Relaunch is Also Sweet Music for Slovakia’s Piano Media