The Washington Post announced the creation of Next Generation, a new initiative to accelerate the acquisition of younger and more diverse audiences through new products, practices and partnerships.
“Over the past few years, The Post has boldly experimented in developing new ways to reach readers and expand our subscription base,” said Fred Ryan, Publisher and CEO of The Washington Post. “We have delivered Washington Post journalism to the broadest national and global audience in our history with many younger readers enjoying Post content on sites and in formats that didn’t exist a few years ago, and we are eager to build upon this success and accelerate our progress.”
Next Generation, a cross-company task force focused on developing future Post audiences, will be co-led by an editorial director, Phoebe Connelly, and a business director, Bradley Lautenbach. With extensive experience running cross-functional teams, together they will develop our strategic roadmap for emerging audiences. They will work closely with reporters, editors, visual journalists, audience specialists, business-side leaders and technologists across The Post to attract and engage new audiences.
Connelly has spent eight years at The Post, most recently as deputy director of video, leading daily news coverage and video partnerships. She has worked closely with the engineering team to enhance our video user experience and develop and manage a suite of custom internal and external-facing video products. In 2020, she helped found the visual forensics department, which produced critical work including a reconstruction of the death of George Floyd and “The crackdown before Trump’s photo op,” which won the 2020 Alfred I. duPont silver baton award. She was a lead editor on two of our investigative efforts on the events of Jan. 6: “41 minutes of fear: A video timeline from inside the Capitol siege” and “17 requests for backup in 78 minutes.”
Lautenbach is the Head of Commercial Marketing at The Washington Post where he oversees B2B go-to-market activities and leads the team developing product solutions for the advertising marketplace. He is also responsible for developing positioning for brands and publishers centered around The Post’s emerging businesses including Zeus technology and RED’s digital ad product offerings. Prior to The Washington Post, he led Marketing and Product teams at several Silicon Valley startups and spent about a decade in various roles at The Walt Disney Company, including as an Imagineer and as a television news producer for ABC News’ Good Morning America.
Next Generation will be highly collaborative, partnering with teams across the organization to accelerate experimentation and growth. Over the next few weeks, full-time and part-time representatives from a variety of departments across the company will be added to advance this initiative. This cross-functional approach will enable The Post to pursue new audiences, helping increase the impact of its journalism, growing revenue, building awareness and affinity for The Washington Post and continuing its strong national and international subscriptions growth.