Zach Leonard chooses his words carefully…of course, two weeks into his new position, he is still getting used to being part of the biggest online startup. That startup is Murdoch’s online empire: stateside it is called Fox Interactive Media; in UK, it is just starting to rev up, and Zach is now heading the online/digital business operations of a large part of it.
He is the newly appointed publisher of Times Online (online presence of Times of London newspaper) , with the added responsibility, in some part, for other News International (the parent company of Times UK) properties.
At the OPA Global Forum in London last week, I had a chance to speak with him on his new assignment: starting with his move away from Financial Times two years ago, to now; his remit at News International ; his views on the UK online news market and other issues.
The points he talked about:
– His stint at FT.com and Financial Times
– His remit: exploring things like content aggregation, video and text search, and community.
– Building community around Times verticals like “Driving” and others.
– Synergies with Sky, MySpace and others, and how that could be linked up with News International properties : for instance, The Sun, which has a big music component to it.
– Focus on organic growth…preference to explore that before we go the acquisition route.
– Competing against innovations from the likes of BBC and the Guardian.
– Experimenting with blogs and podcasts and their commercialization.
– Working with gaming and betting companies across our titles
– Mobility and the media companies…
You can download the audio of my interview with him here here (24 mins., 5.45 MB).
Related: Times Online Appoints Former FT.com Head As New Digital Head