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Alan served as Head of Digital at The Times and The Sunday Times for seven years from 2013.
He was responsible for the titles’ journalistic output in digital, both on and off platform, and also led their digital transformation, both in terms of strategy and newsroom organisation, as they moved to a subscription-first model.
Subscriptions more than doubled – to 366,000 – during his time as Head of Digital.
In 2016, he combined the titles’ websites and launched the innovative edition-based publishing model, now being emulated at publications worldwide. He also launched Red Box, the politics-based email that became an established part of the Westminster landscape and spawned first a podcast and now a radio show.
Alan’s team led the transformation of the newsroom to being digital-first, by creating new structures to support digital publishing, building a team of digital specialists – covering video, audio, audience development, data journalism and digital storytelling – and running a newsroom-wide training programme with 24 separate courses.
The team also produced a full content review of the Times titles’ output, which led them subsequently to focus on quality above quantity and which began the evolution towards audience-first publishing. Alan also collaborated with the News UK data science team to produce the INCA analytics and insights tool. Both of these initiatives won international awards.
Prior to assuming his role in digital, Alan was Executive Managing Editor of the titles, primarily responsible for the Sunday Times budget and personnel issues. Before that he had served in senior print roles on the Sunday title, ranging from News Review Editor to Deputy Sports Editor.
A graduate of Oxford University, Alan has undertaken professional education at Ashridge Business School (strategy and finance), Stanford University (design thinking), Cambridge University (digital strategy) and Warwick University (behavioural insights).
Michael is a marketing and customer strategist, NED and board advisor. He was formerly General Manager of Times Newspapers Ltd, with responsibility for the financial performance of The Times and The Sunday Times and for setting and implementing brand strategies for long-term cross-platform growth.
Prior to managing The Times and The Sunday Times, Michael was Publisher and Chief Operating Officer of The Economist. He joined the Economist Group in 2006 and held a number of senior roles, including Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director of Circulation.
At The Economist, Michael merged the circulation, sales, marketing solutions, customer insights and events divisions into a single business unit that now delivers more than 80% of Economist Group revenues and provides best-in-class products and services for both readers and clients.
Through continuously analysing competitive strategies, gathering insights from an extensive global network, nurturing internal talent and recruiting expertise from outside, Michael’s strategy delivered new revenue streams, substantial cost savings, an aligned team, and provided the opportunity for increased investment in marketing and technology at a time of widespread industry decline.
Prior to his appointment as COO and Publisher, Michael served as Managing Director of Circulation and Chief Marketing Officer. By pioneering a bold strategy to manage the migration of print to digital reading, Michael deftly manoeuvred the circulation business from loss-making into the largest contributor of Economist Group profits. This was driven in part by innovative, award-winning digital marketing initiatives and successful long-term pricing strategies.
Michael is an alumnus of the Harvard Advanced Management Program, graduating in 2017. He has served on the board of two publishing industry trade associations, PPA (UK) and MPA (USA).