Podcast: Jed Williams of Local Media Association is on an Innovation Mission

Photo of Jed Williams
Jed Williams, Chief Innovation Officer at Local Media Association

Jed Williams ’10 (M.A.) lives and breathes the business of local media.

On February 6, Williams returned to the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media leading a group of media executives on an Innovation Mission, networking trips designed to spark new ideas in creating sustainable business models. He calls these trips “the anti-conference conference” for their immersive experiences visiting a variety of large and small media organizations, startup incubators and leading research institutions.

The UNC Center for Innovation & Sustainability in Local Media welcomed the group on Tuesday in the Reese Innovation Lab. Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penelope Abernathy and Associate Professor Ryan Thornburg both shared their insights with the group on media strategy, challenging audience assumptions, using data more efficiently and more.

We spoke with Williams about hurdles local media face and how they can best prepare themselves using innovative ways of thinking and challenging their own ingrained habits. For example, he wants media organizations to branch outside of the industry when hiring to expand their ways of thinking. Listen to the podcast interview below.

Jed Williams is the Chief Innovation Officer at the Local Media Association, where he leads industrywide business transformation and digital growth initiatives for newspapers, radio and TV broadcasters, digital publishers, and R&D companies. These programs include Innovation Missions, Chief Digital Club executive networking groups, and LMA’s strategic consulting practice. Previously he was the Vice President of Strategic Consulting at BIA/Kelsey, and also led business development and strategy at two growth-stage technology companies. Jed’s insights have been cited by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Bloomberg, Digiday, FOX Business, and the BBC, among others.

Photo of The Innovation Mission group stand in front of Carroll Hall, home of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media.
The Innovation Mission group stand in front of Carroll Hall, home of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, on Tuesday, February 6, 2018.