Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

shaping your digital business for success speaker biographies

AOP's forum on Wednesday 9 September explored some of the management challenges and opportunities facing digital businesses as they turn their attention to 2010 and beyond:

How to manage the successive waves of organisational change that the coming years will require, how to keep the company lean as it continues to diversify, how to manage an ever-expanding range of digital products, how best to engage with the company's people.

Download presentations from the event

Read our summary of the event:
Innovation – "not just around the edges, but at the core"

Speaker Biographies

Dietmar Schantin
Dr. Dietmar Schantin, Group Director, Editorial, Advertising and General Management, WAN-IFRA

Dr. Dietmar Schantin joined IFRA in 2005 as Director of Newsplex, which looked at editorial strategy and change in news publishing organisations. Since 2009, he is now Group Director of the Business Unit Editorial, Advertising and General Management (EAGM), of the newly merged news publishing association WAN-IFRA. In his role he advises companies on the development and implementation of editorial strategies and structures.

He has carried out such projects in the UK at the Telegraph Media Group, Northcliffe Media Group and Archant Media Group.

He has also advised News publishing companies in Europe, USA and Asia.
He started his career as a studio manager at the Austrian Broadcasting
Cooperation, then worked as project leader for a management consultancy
in Switzerland before becoming the managing director of an online system
consulting service.

Howard Davies
Howard Davies, Media Partner, Deloitte

Howard is a Partner in Deloitte’s consulting practice where he leads the Telecoms, Media and Technology Strategy team.

With nearly 15 years experience as a consultant, Howard has undertaken a wide range of assignments, both in the UK and in Europe, specialising in corporate and business unit strategy development, business planning and M&A support. His clients include most of the UK broadcasters, newspaper and magazine publishers and new media companies.

Over the last 5 years he has focussed on the challenges and opportunities resulting from the increased digitisation of content and distribution. He is one of the key architects behind the Digital Index, Deloitte’s quarterly assessment of the state of Digital Britain and a regular press commentator on this subject.

Mary Beth Christie
Mary Beth Christie, Head Of Product Management,

MB Christie is Head of Product Management for, the definitive home for business intelligence on the web. She assumed this position in January 2007.

Christie manages the online product team that handles all of the Financial Times’ digital media; including the core website, interactive markets data features, blogs, and search. In this capacity she has been instrumental in transforming the Financial Times from a traditional newspaper publisher into a web-centric business.

Previous to her work at the FT, Christie was Head of Product Development at the UK’s largest property website. Prior to that, she was Product Development Director for QXL Ricardo PLC, a leading online auction website in Europe. In 1991, Christie founded Resources, the first phone directory published in post-communist Czechoslovakia. She remained President of the company through 1999.

She obtained her BSc from the London School of Economics, where she studied in Economics, Economic History and Political Thought. Christie has also studied English Literature at the Connecticut College.

Edwin Ulak
Edwin Ulak, Publishing Director, Trader Media Group

Edwin is Publishing Director (Digital) for Trader Media Group, responsible for product and content on In his time leading the development of Europe’s largest motoring portal, unique users have near doubled from 5.5m to 10.3m, time on site has grown to exceed that of facebook and the business has undergone one of the most profitable transitions from print to online in Europe. Underpinning this success has been a focus on consumer led innovation expanding Auto Trader’s offering from a used car site to an online motoring marketplace serving all the motorist’s needs.

Prior to joining Trader Media Group Edwin provided consultancy for online retailers as well as heading up digital at a full service agency in Toronto. Edwin’s first venture was an online ticketing start up in the first dotcom boom.

Tom Turcan
Tom Turcan, Founder, Runcat Consulting

Tom is a business consultant who specialises in developing competitive strategies and managing change. His clients include established media companies, charities and young, high growth ventures.

Tom's previous roles include General Manager, Digital at Guardian News and Media, where he was responsible for the digital P&L, and where he led the recently-completed programme to deliver the new online platform for

As Chairman of Dovetail Services, he led the merger, reorganisation and re-launch of this marketing and fulfilment JV for BBC Worldwide and Dennis Publishing. As CEO of Virtual Internet, he managed the turnaround, re-positioning and trade exit of this publicly-listed internet services provider.

As Director of Business Development at News International, he managed acquisitions, investments and operational improvement initiatives across the NI portfolio. Tom's early career was spent as a technologist and software developer at Logica.

Download presentations from the event

Read our summary of the event:
Innovation – "not just around the edges, but at the core"

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