Finding real leadership is tough.

We put in the hard work.

Executive Search by Martin Tripp Associates

Expert Knowledge

50+ years’ experience in media, information, technology and entertainment

Obsessive About Delivery

An unparalleled success rate, from an unmatched methodology.

Global Reach

Based in London, we have worked on leadership roles across five continents.

Our Approach

A methodology that ensures success, with a six month guarantee

In a few weeks, we build networks that might take others ten years to complete. On every search,  we will talk to over 100 people to fully map the market and identify the best possible candidates. And then we filter that insight through expert face-to-face interviewing. We are so confident of our process that we offer a six month guarantee on every placement.

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%
Candidate retention rate after four years
0
%
Our success rate in the last financial year
0
Number of assignments our researchers work on at a time

ETHICAL, RELENTLESS, PASSIONATE, INFORMED

We always put our clients’ interests first, and work exclusively on each search. Once we are engaged on a role, we do not give up. We will only take on a client if we can share their passion. Our job is to keep on top of changes in the market so we can help our clients stay ahead of the curve.

We work across the media, information, technology, communications and entertainment industries. This means we can bring best practice from across sectors to your business.

Clients by sector

11%
Entertainment & broadcast
21%
Consumer media (digital, print, events, communications)
13%
B2B communications (digital, print, events, training, agencies)
20%
Data / information (including research and consultancy services)
24%
Tech / e-commerce
11%
Brands / corporates direct

Roles by discipline

15%
C-suite / general management
22%
Creative (editorial, design, event production, content leads)
23%
Commercial / sales leadership
18%
Product / strategy (product directors, strategy leads etc)
11%
Technical (CTOs, CIOs, digital leaders)
11%
Marketing / communications

Our history

Martin Tripp

Martin Tripp

Managing Director

After more than a decade as a manager, writer, and analyst in the UK and Africa, Martin became a headhunter in 1996, and established Martin Tripp Associates in 2008. As well as recruiting across all disciplines in the media sector, Martin has worked with a wide range of non-media clients on senior e-commerce, digital, and communications positions.

martin@trippassociates.co.uk

+44 20 7692 0530 • +44 7961 100 389

Matt D’Cruz

Matt D’Cruz

Partner

A former news editor, Matt has spent much of his career talking to senior executives across all industries. A founder member of Martin Tripp Associates, he has recruited across a huge range of roles, from heads of strategy and product through to editors and audience development leads. Matt became a Partner in the firm in June 2016.

matt@trippassociates.co.uk

+44 20 7692 0530 • +44 7796 326 764

Latest from the Blog

Streaming is the future – but not for all media

Streaming content is the natural endpoint for entertainment content. The many conveniences that come from streaming outweigh the concerns about a lack of ‘ownership’ for the consumer of the media they consume, data throttling once net neutrality is a distant memory, and the quite justified concerns over subscription fatigue due to the sheer amount of streaming services on offer.

The reality is that ease of use trumps all of those, particularly for casual consumers, and as infrastructure and internet penetration improves further the proportion of people using streaming services will only grow. Last year Ofcom reported that nearly half of UK households now have access to at least one television streaming service, as the number subscribing to the most popular services “increased from 11.2m (39%) in 2018 to 13.3m (47%) in 2019”. That doesn’t take into account the number of households that also subscribe to a music streaming service like Spotify, either.

The Google Stadia proves streaming works for games – in precisely the right circumstances

However, that isn’t to say that streaming is necessarily a good fit for every medium. It works well for low-data, passive mediums like audio and television. Even Netflix’s ambition Black Mirror special, Bandersnatch, which was effectively an experiment in interactive television content in the vein of an adventure game, was possible through Netflix’s infrastructure. But the reality is that the technology and infrastructure to stream many video games isn’t there yet – despite some serious investment from big players.

Read More

Facing the curtain: How print titles are bowing out gracefully (or not)

We haven’t seen the last of the print closures. Between falling circulations in at-risk genres like the women’s weekly, the acquisition of regional news organisations by huge companies with a reputation for cutting the fat and then some, and the bleak reality that smaller newspapers don’t have the resources to pour into making digital work, the trajectory for print products remains obvious.

The Washington Post Express chose to go out with a bang

One of the last trials faced by an editorial team, then, at the end of a losing battle to sustain the P&L of their print product, is deciding how to bow out. There will always have to be a ‘final’ last page – the short turnaround on papers and the sentiment that people have towards them would allow for nothing less. But there are ways and ways of going about setting that final masthead and choosing the language of the final headline. Over the past few years we’ve seen more than a couple.

Read More

Future proofing news consumption for young audiences

That newsbrands have an issue with young audiences isn’t a new revelation. For newspapers particularly, much of the ‘print is dead’ sentiment of the past few years was driven by the fact that young people were not picking up the most lucrative product on offer from the media company in favour of interacting with the brand in formats where the RPU was significantly lower. As a result, the vast majority of the crisis over dwindling print revenue can be put down to newsbrands’ collective failure to make their most valuable properties attractive to young audiences. Or, if you want to look at it with a glass half full mentality, to their success in making digital content more appealing to young people.

News publishers need to stop treating young people as an invasive species

At the same time, the exhaustively well-documented usurpation of the direct relationship in digital by platforms has led to a situation in which young people have a very different relationship with newspapers and broadcasters than those media companies perceive them to have. Squaring that circle, and ensuring that newsbrands have a mutually beneficial relationship with young audiences, requires an evidence-based rethink – and soon.

The latest Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism report into how young people interact with the news demonstrates that there is currently a disconnect between what young people value from news and how news publishers are attempting to monetise them. Here are some implications from the report, with a particular focus on healing that disconnect.

Personal interests…

One of the trickiest issues for news publishers thrown up by the report is that young people interact with news through a primarily personal lens. While the perception in previous generations has been that news consumption was first and foremost in service of staying abreast of current events, today’s young consumer consumes news content for a variety of reasons. While an understanding of current affairs is certainly one facet – the report puts a lot of focus on how that knowledge transfers some prestige to young news consumers, that knowledge effectively is power, it also cites five more reasons why young people interact with news.

Those range from developing a personal identity through understanding of the context of news, to being entertained by news content delivered in a fun manner, to having a ready stock of up-to-date observations that grease the wheels of social interactions.

… with an altruistic outlook

On the face of it, that suggests that young people interact with new for primarily selfish reasons, with personal development being the primary motivator and each article being a stepping stone along the way to growth. However, since young people have been demonstrated to be more aware of issues of identity and social inequality, and to be more generous when it comes to charitable donations, it suggests that young people seek to improve themselves through news content in order to effect social change.

News publishers, then, could attempt to appeal to these young people by focusing less on the ‘if it bleeds it leads’ mentality that has defined the front page for decades, and instead focusing more on solutions journalism, as Positive News and (to some extent) the Guardian have done.

In the moment

While the edition-based system of publishing has demonstrably worked for digital publishers like The Times & Sunday Times, the reality of constant ready access to the internet and young people’s presence on social media means that today’s audiences are habituated to having news content at their fingertips whenever they need it. The report also notes that Gen-Z, tomorrow’s target demographic, will expect to have news delivered to them whenever they demand, in a more more relevant and tailored manner. No surprise, then, that we’ve seen the news publishers and broadcasters with the resources to do so investing heavily in AI tools designed to increase the amount of personalisation on offer.

However, the report also demonstrates that simply having a presence on a young consumer’s phone in the form of an app isn’t enough. The research demonstrated that no individual news app appeared in the top 25 most-used apps on average (save for reddit, which is only tangentially a news app and doesn’t necessarily have to be used as such). The implication for media companies, then, is that their content primarily has to be accessible through social media – even if the issues around brand erasure on those platforms and issues of revenue share are yet to be resolved.

Additionally, the report flags up that news content will inevitably be judged against entertainment content like Netflix and Spotify, not just in terms of price anchoring, but also in terms of how easily accessible, easy-to-use and sophisticated their content sourcing methods are.

As has been pointed out, then, tacit criticism from some publishers that today’s young consumers have little brand loyalty and are ‘promiscuous’ when it comes to news sources is retrograde and backwards in its approach to reaching young audiences. Today’s consumer is a product of the internet, with understandable expectations that the services they choose to pay for provide a reasonable value exchange on par with entertainment properties. It isn’t for young people to conform to publishers’ expectations of what a ‘news consumer’ looks like, but the other way round.

Chris Sutcliffe

enquiries@trippassociates.co.uk

Martin Tripp Associates is a London-based executive search consultancy. While we are best-known for our work across the media, information, technology, communications and entertainment sectors, we have also worked with some of the world’s biggest brands on challenging senior positions. Feel free to contact us to discuss any of the issues raised in this blog.

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