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AOP appoints new executive chairman, establishes advisory board

Tim Faircliff replaces John Barnes at The Association of Online Publishers with clear objectives to continue membership growth   18 June 2014, London: The Association of Online Publishers (‘AOP’), today announces the appointment of Tim Faircliff as Executive Chairman. The organisation also confirms the establishment of an advisory board comprising of leading industry practitioners and experts from across the digital publishing sector.   Faircliff, who was Chairman from 2009 to 2011, replaces John Barnes, who over the past three years has overseen one of the most successful periods in the AOP’s history whilst also fulfilling his role as Managing Director, Digital & Tech at Incisive Media. During Barnes’ tenure the AOP continued to attract new publisher members including big names such as AOL and BT and increased associate membership by 30% in the last year alone. Total digital turnover of AOP publisher members is now £850 million – representing a significant percentage of the UK’s digital publishing economy. Barnes will remain as one of three directors of the Association. In becoming the first non-member chairman, Faircliff who has held high profile roles at organisations such as Thomson Reuters and The Telegraph Media Group and was AOP interim managing director between 2012 and 2014, will also oversee the on-going expansion of the organisation’s events programme. Including the annual AOP Awards to be held on July 3.  In the last year the AOP has run seven forums attended by over 600 people, covering areas from programmatic, mobile, video advertising, research and digital content. Over 300 people attended the association’s flagship Autumn Conference last year, while the AOP Spring Conference continues to establish itself as a major date in the digital publishing calendar, attracting over 200 attendees earlier this year. Strategic partnerships have also been established with organisations such as Circus Street, Digiday and Sailthru. The new advisory board, of which Barnes will be a member, will be responsible for the running of the organisation moving forward, ensuring it remains at the forefront of digital publishing evolution. As well as Faircliff, Barnes and AOP Managing Director Tim Cain, the board will be made up of a host of recognised AOP members. These are: Lewis Silkin Partner, Simon Entwhistle; Hearst Group Sales Director, Stephen Edwards; ESI Media Director of Strategic and Commercial Data, Jo Holdaway; and Patrick Fuller, Group Director of Haymarket Consumer Media. Commenting on his appointment, AOP Executive Chairman Faircliff said: “I am looking forward to helping AOP further establish itself as a key industry association for the Digital publishing community building on the great achievements of John Barnes and the board over the past three years.” Outgoing Chairman John Barnes said: “It has been a great privilege to serve as Chairman of the AOP over the last three years, and I am proud of the changes and improvements that I have overseen.  The AOP is an organisation that thrives on the participation and engagement of its members and I am delighted that all our member companies are so involved and proactive with the Association at all levels.  The governance changes that have been put in to place make the organisation stronger and much better suited to serve it’s member interests, and in Tim Faircliff and Tim Cain we are lucky to have two dedicated and dynamic leaders, who will I am sure deliver even more success over the coming years”. AOP Managing Director Tim Cain added: ““Under the Chairmanship of John Barnes, AOP has delivered a significant contribution supporting premium content digital publishers to drive their businesses forward. The creation of the Advisory Board and the appointment of the new Executive Chairman brings additional expertise, and now positions us well to further develop the value of AOP to it’s membership and the digital publishing industry”                                                                -Ends-   About AOP The UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) is an industry body representing digital publishing companies that create original, branded, quality content. AOP champions the interests of media owners from diverse backgrounds including newspaper and magazine publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, and pure online media.   Media enquires: Cordelia Meacher, FieldHouse Associates , +44 (0) 7961 311080 Michael House, FieldHouse Associates , +44 (0) 7958336475