Perhaps catering to the fact that the average human attention span is now a mere eight seconds, the 2019 Class of Folio: 100 and Rising Star Honorees were asked to accept their awards with 10 words or less.
Many of the winning media types, c-suite executives, strategists and up-and-comers proved that they were up for the challenge at Thursday afternoon’s event at the Hilton Hotel in New York. In doing so, they demonstrated while content is still king, conciseness reigns supreme — especially in a roomful of newsmakers. Given that, organizers kept the post-lunch acceptance speeches moving with their novel approach. The Halloween event capped off the two-day, “The Folio: Show,” which had the ominous endgame of transforming publishing.
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That undeniably is one tall order, but a slew of media representatives were honored. Meredith’s president and chief digital officer Catherine Levene, Paul Jowdy, chief business officer and publisher of WWD + Fairchild Live, The Nation’s Erin O’Mara, Fast Company’s publisher Amanda Smith and Bauer Media Group USA’s Jeff Wellington were among the c-suite winners that made their way to the podium. One of the honorees, Time’s chief people officer Sue Suh, hinted at the media landscape’s reinvention. She said, “I love that we’re a 96-year-old start-up at Time.”
Jowdy gave new meaning to being a numbers guy, saying, “To these 10, at this table.” gesturing toward where his sales team was seated. Hearst Enthusiast’s Group editorial director Bill Strickland lived up to his victory among the Strategists, telling the crowd, “Uh, I love my boss…and our audiences are my boss.”
The Creators included New York Media’s editor in chief David Haskell, Time’s deputy editor Sam Jacobs, Adweek’s executive editor Stephanie Paterik and The Crisis Magazine’s (NAACP) editor in chief Lottie Joiner. While mention of FreightWaves, EnsembleIQ and some of the titles gave audience members cause to pause, the crowd’s sense of camaraderie was undeniable. As Skift’s chief executive officer Rafat Ali said, “This is the best time to be in the media world. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise.”
For the most part, any inklings of self-promotion was done in the name of good fun. Digital Trends’ editor in chief Jeremy Kaplan said, “I have the best job in the world. At Digital Trends we get to review all of the newest, coolest products. That is hands-down the neatest thing one can do.”
San Diego magazine’s director of marketing and brand development, Jenn Rea, had a different take on the upsides of her line of work — namely going to a lot of restaurants. The Atlantic scored a twofer with deputy editor Gillian B. White and manager of creative solutions Robbie Tanner each being honored. Other victors included Consumer Reports’ investigative reporter Ryan Felton, Conde Nast’s chief information officer and senior vice president of Travel, Health, CPG, Home and Golf, Jennifer Morale, Forbes’ chief content officer Randall Lane, Airbnb Magzine’s creative director Mallory Roynon, Frame’s (the first video magazine) founder Ben Moe and The Advocate’s & Plus Magazine’s managing editor David Artavia.
Content Marketing Institute’s general manager Stephanie Stahl could be excused for surpassing the 10-word limit with, “This kind of feels like family. I’ve see so many people — mentors and people who I have worked with in my life through the years. Congratulations to all of you. I did come up from D.C. this morning, so I feel obligated to say, ‘Go Nats.’”
The swift-moving program wound down with Harborside’s editor in chief Annie Yueh addressing the 24/7 essentials. “I love that working in medical publishing I am reminded everyday of what’s most important in our lives — health, happiness and our relationships with others,” she said.
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