This article is part of an ongoing series profiling participants in the PubTech Connect conference, presented on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 by PW and the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Publishing.
PTC 2018 is going to be an amazing day. By the time it comes to our closing keynote, you will have heard from more than two dozen of the most brilliant minds in tech and new media. To tie it all together, we present our closing keynote speaker, Ben Lerer, founding CEO of Group Nine Media, which comprises four brands: The Dodo, Seeker, Thrillist, and NowThis, news and lifestyle sites that use hip, visual storytelling to reach readers who are deeply engaged with fine food and entertainment, animals, technology, and the news.
Lerer comes from a family of media entrepreneurs. His father, Kenneth Lerer, co-founded Huffington Post, and his sister Izzie Lerer started the Dodo, which ultimately became Group Nine’s animal lover vertical. Lerer founded Thrillist, dubbed a site for “civilized bros,” when he was 24. It started as a lifestyle newsletter for men.
Now, it’s one of the tent poles of Group Nine, an innovative holding company that Lerer created to house his and his sister’s sites, and to fold in the Discovery Channel’s Seeker. Creating the company, which involved Discovery investing $100 million, is one of his biggest achievements. Lerer understands some essential things about the present and future of media, about how words and images and video work together, and about how to turn content and partnerships into successful business ventures.
Lerer will be interviewed by WIRED senior writer Jessi Hempel, former head of editorial for Backchannel and previously senior writer for Forbes, for whom she wrote landmark stories about Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and IBM, among others. Their conversation will be the culmination of an unforgettable day.