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The Independent’s CEO eyes publisher partnerships beyond BuzzFeed

In an exclusive interview, Christian Broughton reveals talks with other publishers and why he’s optimistic about AI, US growth and the title’s first-party data strategy.


CEO Christian Broughton says he has received interest in collaborations from other ‘embattled news brands’ since The Independent took over Buzzfeed’s UK business in March. In an interview with The Media Leader he reported having had “more than half a dozen” serious conversations with “major” global publishers considering a similar partnership.

He believes the attraction is that The Independent is one of a very small number of digital-only publishers that is profitable and growing – he says its on track to grow revenue by double digits this year. Add to that the news that The Buzzfeed partnership appears to be working and it’s easy to see why Broughton is so popular with digital brands that need a hand.

The collaboration model is interesting, retaining the power of individual brands, but pooling data and resources to maximise sales and audience reach. I wonder though how well it would work if The Independent started working with any more of those half-dozen global publishers. Fit and focus seem to have been a big deal in making this collaboration a success.


News Corp CEO Thomson signals action against AI firm

News Corp. chief executive officer Robert Thomson has signaled that the company is considering legal action against at least one generative artificial intelligence firm.

Here’s why publisher AI deals will never be enough. News Corp global chief executive Robert Thomson has indicated that the company is considering legal action against at least one generative artificial intelligence firm. That’s weeks after sealing a deal with OpenAI. There are so many AI companies and the goalposts are being moved so fast no one has a clue what the deals they are doing will mean in six months week’s time.


Retail media rising

Retail media is the fastest growing ad channel, according to GroupM, representing 15% of ad spending this year, its share up tenfold from 2014.

Brian Morrissey is having a look at retail media in his newsletter. He highlights growth in the space and the threat of shifting advertising budgets. But he also highlights the opportunity for publishers: “The opportunity for publishers is to partner with these retail media networks for access to publisher inventory. Contextual data might not be as valued as commerce data, but it matters. As do brands.”


Businessweek editor predicts print comeback

Businessweek editor Brad Stone has said print journalism can make a comeback as his title moves from a weekly to a monthly circulation pace.

Businessweek editor Brad Stone, who was appointed in January, tells Press Gazette that the title’s move to monthly print frequency is not a retreat for the brand. He explained: “We all know how difficult it is to sit there and read a 4,000 or 5,000-word investigation online. You know, we’re living in a chaotic and confusing world where we need more of that kind of storytelling and not less. So I do think there’s a place for print.”

More from Media Voices


How broadcaster SPORT1 uses AI and automation to maximise social media impact: in conversation with Echobox

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What the Publisher Podcast Awards finalists show about podcasting in 2024

From our work coordinating the awards, drawing up the shortlists and adjudicating in the case of a couple of very close categories, here are some of the things we’ve noticed about the state of publisher podcasts in 2024.


Setting the tone in podcasts and newsletters

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