07/10/2019 - 13:50

BN leaders driving innovation

07/10/2019 - 13:50

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Western Australian business media company Business News has reorganised its leadership team, with the elevation of Charles Kobelke to chief executive to lead a growth strategy on the back of its subscription model success.

BN leaders driving innovation
Elton Swarts (left) with Mark Pownall, Charles Kobelke and Danielle Green. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Western Australian business media company Business News has reorganised its leadership team, with the elevation of Charles Kobelke to chief executive to lead a growth strategy on the back of its subscription model success.

Mr Kobelke will head an expanded leadership team with a plan that reflects the publisher’s confidence in the business and its direction.

Danielle Green has joined Business News as general manager events and sponsorship.

This part of the business has substantially increased its presence in the market in the past 12 months, doubling the number of events staged.

After nearly three years as chief executive, Mark Pownall will assume the newly-created role of director of strategy and innovation, overseeing product and technology development and implementation.

Chief renewals officer Marec Van Wyk and editor Mark Beyer will continue as members of the leadership team.

Executive chairman Elton Swarts said the subscriber strategy that started in 2013 had proved itself during a very lean period for WA and the media sector more broadly.

He said there was an opportunity for the publisher, which celebrated 25 years of operations last year, to leverage its success with an investment in technology, the development of more innovative products, and a strong focus on helping businesses in WA reach the right audience.

Business News has enormous opportunities, which is rare in the publishing world,” Mr Swarts said.

“We are recognised by our peers in markets such as the US as being at the leading edge of subscriptions growth, serving customers with the data they need and high-quality independent journalism.

“In addition, we have learned from others in our market that the opportunities in the events space cannot be overlooked; other groups host far more events than we do and we plan to expand.

“Charles and his team have a crystal-clear vision on providing a world-class service to a valued regional audience.”

Mr Kobelke’s appointment comes after 15 months successfully leading the commercial side of Business News as general manager sales, engagement and development.

He has previously held senior management roles at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA and senior marketing roles with luxury car brand BMW.

“What attracted me to Business News was how entrepreneurial the company was when it came to subscriptions-focused independent high-quality editorial,” Mr Kobelke said.

“The business is agile, can move fast, and has been positioned for growth.

“High-quality independent journalism has been and continues to be our cornerstone.

“Connecting and informing our subscribers and customers is at the heart of everything we do and we are investing substantially in our BNiQ data platform to further empower and inform business leaders and decision makers.”

Business News was among the first publishers in the world to transition to a digital model for paid subscribers.

Since erecting a full paywall six years ago, the WA publisher has consistently posted double-digit growth in subscriptions year on year.

Mr Pownall’s new role will include oversight of the proprietary BNiQ offering.

“Our subscribers really value the BNiQ data platform, and we need to focus on improving and growing this part of our  business,” he said.

“Giving our subscribers insights, trends and connection through linking stories with curated data is the future and we are channeling substantial resources into this area.”

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