Independent Digital Media Executive, Advisor, & Consultant @ MDW Digital Ventures
Advisor @ Atlas Obscura
Michael Wertheim is a leader in digital media with more than fifteen years of experience driving rapid growth and montetization at content & technology businesses. Wertheim is currently a consultant and advisor to several media and technology startups and established media companies, including Atlas Obscura, The New York Times, Greatist, Atlantic Media Digital, Fusion, National Geographic, New
Michael Wertheim is a leader in digital media with more than fifteen years of experience driving rapid growth and montetization at content & technology businesses. Wertheim is currently a consultant and advisor to several media and technology startups and established media companies, including Atlas Obscura, The New York Times, Greatist, Atlantic Media Digital, Fusion, National Geographic, New York Media Group, Fatherly, Alley Interactive, Observer Media Group, and Tablet Magazine.
Wertheim served as the Head of Business Development, Audience Development, and Strategy for Upworthy. Joining the company a month after its launch in 2012, Wertheim was instrumental in growing Upworthy’s audience to 11 million monthly unique website visitors, 1.5 million Facebook page likes, and more than 700,000 email subscribers in its first year of operations and for developing its business strategy.
Previously, Wertheim was General Manager at EW.com, where he transformed the site from reaching a couple of million monthly uniques into a leading digital entertainment brand reaching 11 million monthly uniques and from $1.5 million to $14 million in annual revenues.
Prior to running EW.com, Wertheim built Time Inc.’s first Audience Development department, ran business development for Entertainment Weekly and was on the founding management team of Smarter Travel Media, a digital travel publisher which was sold to TripAdvisor.
Wertheim earned his MBA from Stanford Business School and his BA from Harvard College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Media Studies. Wertheim lives in New York City, is a three-time triathlete, and serves on the Board of Directors of 70 Faces Media.
Specialties: general management, digital publishing, digital content, audience growth & engagement, business development & strategic partnerships, advertising sales & revenue growth, social media, email marketing, strategy
Independent Digital Media Executive, Advisor, & Consultant @ Provide management, operations, strategy consulting, and advisory services to digital media organizations and Internet start-ups. Specialties include: audience growth & engagement, monetization, business development, social media strategy, email marketing, content strategy business plans, and marketing research. Clients include:
Upworthy, The New York Times, Atlantic Media, Quartz, Fusion, New York Media, National Geographic, Greatist, Ideapod, The New York Observer, Very Short List, Atlas Obscura, VinePair, The National Memo, Tablet Magazine, JTA, Hollywood.com, Cupondia, Edition 01, Banyan Branch, Customer Underground.
+ Head of Business Development & Audience Development, Upworthy
(See Upworthy section below)
+ Social Media & Audience Development Strategies
Developed social media & audience development strategies for more than a dozen media organizations, including The New York Times, Atlantic Media, National Geographic, Fusion, New York Media, and Tablet Magazine.
+ Acting Chief Operating Officer, Cupondia (Acquired by Tippr).
Managed strategic planning and day-to-day operations for Daily Deals start-up targeting the Hispanic market in the United States.
+ Acting General Manager, Observer Media Group Digital.
Transformed digital business for Observer.com and Very Short List, resulting in 280% revenue growth and 90% audience growth in nine months. Led acquisition process of Newsweek (not acquired).
+ Merger Facilitator, JTA.org + MyJewishLearning, Inc.
Led the merger process between two nonprofit media organizations which will result in the largest Jewish media organization in the United States. Sourced opportunity, developed merger strategy, led all negotiations.
+ Strategic Advisor for start-ups including Atlas Obscura, Our Time, VinePair, Plympton, Edition01 and Banyan Branch.
+ Guest Lecturer at Columbia University. “Building, Growing, & Monetizing Digital Content Businesses.” From 2009 to Present (6 years) Greater New York City AreaAdvisor @ From October 2013 to Present (2 years 1 month) Greater New York City AreaAdvisor @ Founding adviser to web product development firm focused on serving content-driven organizations in the media, non-profit, and education sectors. Portfolio includes We have worked with major names in the content business, including The New Republic, The New York Post, Time Inc., The National Review, Capital New York, Kaiser Family Foundation, Rutgers University, and The New York Observer. From January 2010 to Present (5 years 10 months) Greater New York City AreaHead of Business Development, Audience Development, & Strategy @ Founded in March 2012, Upworthy uses social media to draw attention to things that matter - predominantly in the form of video and graphical content. Referred to by Business Insider as "the fastest growing media company of all time," we grew Upworthy to 40 million monthly unique visitors, 1.5 million Facebook page likes, and more than 700,000 email subscribers in its first year of operations.
+ Managed audience development & analytics team. Developed social media, partnership, email, SEO,
. and paid marketing strategies, goals, and growth model.
+ Created diversified revenue strategy, including lead generation, email advertising, and native
. advertising. Built business model. Identified key client segments and sales targets. Managed
. revenue operations & optimization.
+ Spearheaded user research and user engagement initiatives. From April 2012 to April 2013 (1 year 1 month) Advisor @ VoxPop is a leading pop culture gaming platform used by many of the premier online entertainment publishers including AOL, CBS, MTV, TV Guide, Hearst, CNN, Entertainment Weekly, US Weekly, Fandango, E! Online, and Billboard. Sold to IAC. From 2006 to 2010 (4 years) San Francisco Bay AreaGeneral Manager, EW.com @ Launched digital business, transforming EW.com from print companion site into leading digital entertainment brand reaching more than 11 million monthly unique visitors. Oversaw all business and operational functions. Steered division through massive organizational change and dramatic market downturn while continuing to deliver revenue and traffic growth.
+ Grew revenue by 833% from $1.5 million in 2006 to $14 million in 2007. Supervised national advertising sales and sales planning teams. Led bi-annual agency & client roadshow. Devised sales strategy and structured multi-platform programs.
+ Managed divisional P&L and led all monthly, quarterly, and annual budgeting. Delivered cost savings of 38% in 2008 and 20% in 2007 from budget. Drove business to profitability in first full year of operations.
+ Generated triple-digit traffic growth on annual marketing budget of less than $100k. Increased monthly unique visitors by 235% from 3.3MM to 11.2MM and monthly page views by more than 245%.
+ Built organizational infrastructure and established all business practices. Grew staff from four to twenty-five in two years and managed matrixed team of over fifty total employees.
+ Set cross-platform content distribution strategy, including web syndication, mobile, YouTube, and VOD. Established partnerships with companies including CNN, Yahoo, IMDB, and Huffington Post.
+ Launched video programming, including seven regular series, responsible for driving more than $2MM in revenue to the division. Grew monthly streams from 200,000 to 1.5MM in eight months.
+ Oversaw product & project development, technical production, and web design. Guided new products from concept to launch, including five blogs, four email newsletters, and multiple site redesigns. From January 2007 to November 2008 (1 year 11 months) Greater New York City AreaExecutive Director, Business Development & Online Marketing @ Concurrently managed Entertainment Weekly's largest and most profitable sources of new print subscribers and prepared company for takeover of website management and fiscal responsibility from AOL. Built Time Inc’s first audience development department to focus on website growth. Won two Consumer Marketing Achievement Awards.
+ Managed all online subscription acquisition efforts - increased volume fivefold. Launched Time Inc’s first profitable programs with online lead-generation companies which became Time Inc’s largest new source of subscription business in more than five years and generated more than $24MM in revenue .
+ Evaluated all new business development opportunities, focusing primarily on company’s digital strategy. Developed EW.com business plan and acquisition strategy.
+ Instituted all audience development initiatives for EW.com, including SEO, RSS, SEM, syndication, social media, email marketing, and analytics. Developed and marketed EW’s first email newsletter and Time Inc’s first Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft gadgets and Facebook partnership.
+ Negotiated broad strategic partnerships with TiVo, Hollywood Video, Papa John’s, and Time Warner Cable that included subscriber acquisition, online and print advertising, content syndication, event sponsorships, and online lead generation. From January 2006 to December 2006 (1 year) Director of Partnership Development, Entertainment Weekly & TIME @ Led partnership marketing businesses for Entertainment Weekly and TIME magazines, from deal sourcing through program management. Generated more than 1MM new subscribers who were among each brand's most profitable subscribers. Hired two levels above traditional MBA graduate entry point.
+ Increased partnership portfolio tenfold. Negotiated and launched new programs with dozens of partners, including American Express, Fandango, Live Nation, Netflix, Movietickets.com, Columbia House, DirecTV, Ticketmaster, HBO, and Circuit City.
+ Executed programs in eight different sales channels, including eCommerce, retail point-of-sale, call centers, movie theaters, and email, primarily requiring credit card continuous service payment.
+ Structured financial terms, including advance earn-outs, commissions, bounties, and barter for events, advertising, and promotional inventory. Devised models to project revenue impact, lifetime value, optimal pricing, and new subscription volume. Analyzed and evaluated program performance.
+ Managed three full-time employees working on program implementation and account management. Coordinated cross-functional and cross-departmental teams including operations, finance, creative, legal, compliance, event planning, editorial, and production.
+ Developed large-scale customer service representative training and compliance programs for partnerships with Time Warner Cable, Screenvision, and Hollywood Video. From April 2004 to January 2006 (1 year 10 months) Summer Marketing Manager, Establishment Services @ Developed marketing strategies to grow share and increase profitability of company’s largest merchant partnership - Costco. Conceived and launched customer acquisition and usage marketing programs. Designed and analyzed qualitative focus groups. Developed models to identify highest value customers. From June 2002 to August 2002 (3 months) Greater New York City AreaFounding Head of Business Development, Marketing, & Product Development @ Founding Director of travel information website & email newsletter business, sold to TripAdvisor in 2007. Led operations as award-winning publisher grew to become a multi-million dollar company and became profitable without raising external capital. Launched three departments and moved from team to team, building procedures and staff to handle company growth.
+ Marketing. Grew audience to more than 1.5 million email subscribers. Tripled monthly unique website visitors on a YOY basis. Managed $750,000 annual marketing budget and decreased customer acquisition cost by over 60%. Consistently brought department in under budget and over growth expectations. Spearheaded marketing research and user segmentation initiatives.
+ Business Development. Oversaw all montetization efforts. Launched subscriber benefits program to shift business model from being solely advertising-driven, which became company's primary revenue stream in its second year of operation. Negotiated and established partnerships with travel suppliers and syndication programs to content websites which drove more than $2 million in revenue and opened up new distribution channels.
+ Product development. Led multi-functional product development team of eight. Coordinated new product launches from concept development to market. Launched three email newsletters and four web products, generating $500,000 in yearly revenues and expanding content scope. From 1999 to 2001 (2 years) Greater Boston AreaSenior Program Manager, Alumni Programs Office @ Launched first alumni websites. Facilitated and promoted activities and developed best practices for 115 alumni clubs worldwide. Increased attendance at annual meeting of club officers by 70%. Supervised management program for 50 employees. Coordinated nine MBA reunions, including committee management, budgeting, programming, and communications. Worked with alumni board of directors. From November 1995 to January 1998 (2 years 3 months) Greater Boston AreaMarketing Associate @ Crafted and implemented marketing and communications strategy for online brokerage software subsidiary. Developed collateral used in the sale of the company to Merrill Lynch. Managed all public relations efforts. Repositioned focus through market research. Segmented market to identify customers. From 1998 to 1998 (less than a year)
MBA, Business @ Stanford University Graduate School of Business From 2001 to 2003 AB, Social Studies, Concentration in Media Studies @ Harvard University From 1991 to 1995 Hunter College High School From 1985 to 1991 Michael Wertheim is skilled in: General Management, New Business Development, Digital Marketing, Team Leadership, Start-ups, Media & Entertainment, Sales Management, Marketing Management, Email Marketing, Content Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Strategic Partnerships, Social Media Marketing, Online Marketing, Digital Strategy, Digital Media, Social Media, Management, Online Advertising, Executive Management, Strategy, Business Strategy, Business Development, Analytics, Advertising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Product Development, Entrepreneurship, E-commerce, Marketing, Market Research, SEM, SEO, Lead Generation, Mobile Devices, Leadership, Facebook, Cross-functional Team..., Strategic Planning, Business Planning, Creative Direction, Management Consulting
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