Media is not just a crotchety old man’s world. Women are making a huge impact, too.
As the media industry evolves, they are leading powerful companies, launching new ventures and redefining the future of journalism. And their success stories serve as models for those hoping to make a mark in this multi-faceted, risky business.
By day, she helps lead Google as its VP of search product and user experience; by night, she poses for the glossy pages of Vogue and Glamour. The latter named Mayer one of its 'Women of the Year,' crowning her 'The Visionary.'
She has said, 'When people think about computer science, they imagine people with pocket protectors and thick glasses who code all night. I do code all night! I am the stereotype, but I also break the stereotype.'
Lyne has successfully transitioned from old media to new. Having previously led operations at The Village Voice, Premiere magazine, ABC Entertainment and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she's currently in charge of Gilt Groupe, a high-end e-commerce destination that attracts trendy consumers searching for designer deals.
The forward-thinking CEO recently told Newsweek, 'What has really struck me over the years now is the fact that media companies have looked at the Internet as either a distraction, or in some cases a threat, but not as the giant opportunity that it is. It's challenging obviously because with the business models, the ability to monetise is not always evident. But you're never going to figure it out unless you dive in with real resources and real strategic forces and an excitement about what's possible. The best way to do that is to jump into an Internet company.'
(Disclosure: The Business Insider shares investors and directors with Gilt Groupe.)
Swisher is co-executive editor of All Things Digital, the Dow Jones-owned site that covers media, technology and the Internet. She is arguably the most powerful journalist in digital media, owning the beat on her blog BoomTown. But her biggest source of power is the 'D: All Things Digital' conference she organizes each year with Walt Mossberg for The Wall Street Journal. (Highlight from 2007: Having Bill Gates and Steve Jobs on stage at the same time.)
Photo: All Things D
Brown is not only a pioneer in media -- she's also a big personality. The British journalist-turned-businesswoman has a shrewd knack for getting attention, whatever it is she's doing.
She edited Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, and wrote a best-selling biography on Princess Diana. More than a year ago, she hopped on the Internet bandwagon with a buzzy site called The Daily Beast.
In a Q&A on the Beast, Brown describes it as 'the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist. It allows you to lead the conversation, rather than simply follow it.'
Before Brown got into the game, there was Huffington.
The savvy self-promoter boldly ventured into digital territory in 2005 with The Huffington Post; more than four years later, the site has become not only a household name but a must-read aggregator of breaking news and commentary -- likely worth more than $100 million.
Dyson began her career reporting for Forbes but satisfied an entrepreneurial streak -- and a passion for digital technology -- by becoming one of the players she covered as a journalist.
She ran her own tech-research company, EDventure, for 20 years before selling it to CNet Networks in 2004; Dyson invests in startups and sits on the board of several online outfits like 23andMe, a California-based biotech company, among other ventures.
The Yahoo president and CEO replaced Jerry Yang in January. And while she has made deep cuts, she has more work to do in order to restore Yahoo back to greatness and turn higher profits.
One big gamble: A deal with Microsoft to oursource search. She told financial analysts last month, 'We have fallen, and we really want to get back up. We want to get back up on our tippy-toes.'
As the COO of Facebook, Sandberg is one of the leading women in Silicon Valley. She has history with global technology giants: namely, Google, where she was VP of international sales and operations and helped launch the company's revenue-generating AdWords division.
Robinson is president and CEO of The New York Times Co. and No. 49 on Forbes' list of the Most Powerful Women. She leads the grey Lady during a tumultuous moment when newspapers are shuttering amid an advertising slump. A beacon of hope is the paper's Web site, which boasts online-savvy celebrities on staff to bolster the brand.
As CEO of Time Inc., Moore stands at the helm of a publishing empire that is losing revenues, ad dollars and employees. But she recently signed a contract to remain in charge until 2012 and help steer the company into the future.
In a memo to staffers last summer, Moore remarked, 'While print magazines are not going away, and while we have built vibrant websites with over 26 million unique visitors and 750 million pages views each month, it's increasingly clear that finding the right digital business model is crucial for the future of our business. We need to develop a strategy for the portable digital world and to refine our views on paid content.'
As president of Conde Nast Digital, Chubb has one of the most coveted titles in the media and oversees upscale brands like Glamour.com, VanityFair.com, Epicurious.com, Style.com and Wired's website.
There's a lot of pressure involved, too, as Conde Nast -- the magazine empire synonymous with class and aspirational living -- faces setbacks against the hard reality of a shrinking market for print media. This has resulted in lost advertising and company-wide layoffs.
But at least Conde is trying to evolve: It recently announced plans for e-reader and iPhone editions of Wired and other titles.
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