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

Verification all the way down: the trouble with trust

Regulate to accumulate

In the short-term, maybe it isn’t all that bad that journalism is undergoing a trust crisis. Despite the fact that, per the last Reuters Institute Digital News report, 70 percent of people in the UK are now worried about the trustworthiness of news, news organisations aren’t even setting their sights as high as 30 percent of the public subscribing to their digital news products – and they don’t need to.

Even the fact that low double digit proportions of the public are happy to subscribe is enough to support subscription- and membership-based organisations like the Washington Post and the Guardian. For those organisations, at least, the journalism crisis is

Read More

Mixing it up: the problem of platform choice for publishers

No sooner does a platform reach the mainstream than it’s potentially on the way out. For a few years, Twitch was in the ascendancy with its audience growth, direct interaction with live viewers, and diversified revenue generating model convincing a few of the most well-known media companies in the world to experiment with the platform. Two years ago, the features of the livestreaming platform were even a pivotal plot point in the first season of the Netflix original show American Vandal. Since then, however, the platform has been hit by a sense that it is repeating the mistakes of its direct predecessor YouTube, in not fairly rewarding its content creators, and by the departure of one of its most-viewed users, the Fortnite streamer Ninja, for pastures new.

Let’s Twitch again, like we did last summer…

That new platform – Mixer – offers much of the same benefits of Twitch with greater out-of-the-box opportunities for audience interaction. Where Twitch makes the ability for a streamer to chat directly with their audience its key selling point for both – and not coincidentally one of its central tenets when it comes to talking to advertisers – Mixer offers far more options for interaction, such as on-the-fly polls, stickers, interactive minigames and more.

Read More

The Athletic is a bold, brash bet on reader revenue that could hurt the whole industry

For the past few months sports publisher The Athletic has been aggressively hiring UK-based sports journalists and, because journalists can’t resist a good analogy, it’s been compared to aggressive transfer window negotiations. In the past year the media company has been charged with ‘setting off a bomb‘ by purloining the top sports journalists from the BBC, the Times, the Guardian, the Mail, and many others.

Ball’s in their court

It’s an aggressive bet from a media company that sees a future in direct reader revenue and wants to be the biggest sport show in town. On the one hand that’s very heartening – any more evidence that people will pay for journalism online is very welcome. The only problem is that it’s almost certainly going to fail in its stated aims, despite all the hopes to the contrary, and could possibly stunt the chances of other publications as it does so.

As explained in this article from The Drum’s Rebecca Stewart, since its launch three years ago the “ad-free digital sports publisher The Athletic has garnered 500,000 subscribers with a reported 90% retention rate to its website and app and expanded into Canada”. In that time it has attracted almost $90 million in VC capital from, among others, Comcast Ventures and Founders Fund. As a result of that investment, it now operates in over 15 markets across the US and Canada, and plans a launch in the UK with 55 staffers primarily covering the Premiere League, having reportedly ploughed around £10 million into the launch.

Its subscription-based model will apparently cost its readers £9.99, though it will offer a discounted starting package. Considering its stated goal is to have fully one million paying subscribers by the end of the year, it is unsurprising it would offer discounts in service of that goal: the Guardian recently celebrated reaching one million paying supporters after a 3 year campaign, and it has reach and awareness far beyond that of the Athletic (so far).

Effectively, The Athletic’s plan seems to be to throw money at the problem of scale. By hiring some of the most well-known journalists in the UK and spending a fair amount on marketing that on social media, it’s hoping the allure of big names will help convince UK consumer there’s a space in the market for a new, subs-based sports site.

By throwing money at the problem, its founders hope to effectively outlast its competition in local media and become the only game in town. Its CEO Alex Mather told the New York Times: “We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing. We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.” That rhetoric is likely to stick in the craw of journalists in the UK, where the straits of local news led to the formation of the Cairncross review.

However, there are many obstacles in The Athletic’s path to success, not least the fact that doubling its subscriber numbers in less than six months appears to be almost an impossibly tall order. For one thing, the UK market is effectively saturated with national news subscription products already, and some – like The Telegraph – are making sports analysis one of the key selling points for their own subscriptions. The Guardian, too, is well aware of the lucrative nature of sports and is investing a lot of money in covering growth areas, like women’s football, providing free alternatives in addition to those already offered by the BBC and commercial broadcasters.

Per the latest Reuters Institute Digital News Report, even among the relatively low proportion of people who are likely to pay for news online, the average number of digital subscriptions per person is one: “Perhaps more importantly, the average almost never exceeds one, regardless of what group you look at. Even among those who are most interested in news, the wealthiest, or the most educated, most people only pay money to one news organisation.” Perhaps worst of all, the report also found that if people could only choose one subscription product, 7% would choose news and another 7% would choose the sports content itself, suggesting that the proportion of people who would pay for sports news subscription is even smaller still.

The fact The Athletic is placing its chips on the UK market, which is almost certainly about to hit a period of financial instability and has a significant chance of entering recession that will limit its population’s incidental spending, is also a worry.

On the one hand, then, The Athletic’s aggressive move to control a niche is laudable, as it seeks to find a sustainable model for sports news journalism. However, as the economics behind its decision to launch in the UK don’t seem to add up, and its stated aim is to poach from and outlast the other local news outlets that would be its competition, its aggressive stance could end up detracting from the viability of digital news subscription rather than proving that they work.

 


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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