Tribune Publishing appoints Rajiv Pant as company’s first Chief Product, Technology and User Experience Officer
In addition to Pant, Tribune Publishing also named Mohit Pandey as Senior Vice President of Engineering and Mobile
NEW YORK, NY – November 18, 2015 — Tribune Publishing today announced the strategic appointment of Rajiv Pant, former Chief Technology Officer of The New York Times Co., as Tribune Publishing’s first Chief Product, Technology and User Experience Officer. Pant will report to Denise Warren, Tribune Publishing’s President of Digital. He will oversee digital technology, product development and user experience for the company’s portfolio, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and nine other premium news and information brands.
In addition to Pant, Tribune Publishing today named Mohit Pandey as Senior Vice President of Engineering and Mobile. Pandey, who currently heads up mobile engineering for The New York Times Co., will report to Pant. He will be charged with strengthening Tribune Publishing’s software engineering and suite of mobile products to deliver engaging experiences for consumers and advertisers.
The appointments of Pant and Pandey underscore Tribune Publishing’s commitment to attracting top engineering and product development talent to drive its digital transformation. Since Denise Warren’s arrival in June, Tribune Publishing has achieved 7 percent year-over-year growth in digital revenues in the third quarter ended Sept. 27 (after adjusting for prior-year impact of modified affiliate agreements). The Company today also revealed that its collection of web sites attracted an all-time high of more than 49.2 million unique visitors in October1, driven by significant increases at its two largest properties, the Los Angeles Times and at the Chicago Tribune.
“We continue to make meaningful enhancements to our mobile and web products, and have attracted a record number of unique visitors across our digital properties in October,” said Warren, who also serves as the company’s CEO of East Coast Publishing. “With Rajiv and Mohit, we are building a best-in-class engineering, product development and user experience team and creating a data-driven, mobile-first culture that will further propel our leading brands. Together, Rajiv and Mohit will work in collaboration with all functions of the Company, including editorial and sales leadership, to ensure we have a solid and agile technology platform to serve all of our customers.”
Rajiv Pant: A Recognized Entrepreneur & Innovator
With more than 18 years of technology and product development experience, Pant is a widely recognized entrepreneur, collaborator and innovator who helped build The New York Times Co.’s digital technology team and who earlier developed and led key digital verticals at Conde Nast. For Tribune Publishing, Pant will build out Tribune Publishing’s digital products platform, partner with editorial and sales leadership at each brand to create custom solutions, and implement product and consumer-oriented strategies to accelerate digital monetization efforts.
“I have dedicated my career to helping major news and lifestyle brands adapt to the rapidly changing landscape while embracing emerging platforms to engage existing and new users,” Pant said. “I am drawn to Tribune Publishing, where I see great potential in fostering innovation, realizing economies of scale across the network and championing custom development that leverages each brand’s unique and differentiated content.”
Mohit Pandey: Distinguished Mobile Product Engineer
Pandey, who leads the development of The New York Times’ mobile apps across multiple platforms, will enhance Tribune Publishing’s suite of digital products. A distinguished engineer, Pandey will work with all facets of the company to refine existing iOS and Android products, while also creating new experiences that extend the reach of the company’s award-winning journalism.
“With mobile, we have the ultimate platform to create rich, engaging experiences that keep our customers connected to their communities of interest, while allowing our marketing partners to engage with our coveted audiences,” Pandey said. “I am looking forward to cultivating a mobile-first culture in which innovation and experimentation are the core of our company.”
Pant and Pandey, who begin their respective roles on Monday, Nov. 30, will be based in New York.
Increased Consumer Engagement Across Tribune Publishing
In addition to the increase in unique visitors in October, average time spent per visit on Tribune Publishing web sites over the three months ended September 30 increased 21 percent from the previous quarter, while average page views per visit increased 17 percent in the same timeframe2. “Engagement is key to monetizing digital traffic, and we are very pleased with this result,” said Warren.
Warren also recently announced that the company’s portfolio of properties will be switching to a metered model in the first quarter of 2016. The Los Angeles Times recently introduced a metered model, and Tribune Publishing research shows that visitors are almost twice as likely to purchase via a metered pay approach versus a premium model.