Adweek Names Will Lee Chief Executive Officer
Joining from NPR, Lee will expand Adweek’s offerings and chart a new path forward for one of the industry’s most iconic brands
Entertainment and media veteran Rich Battista, former CEO of Time Inc., joins as Executive Chairman of the Board
NEW YORK, NY -- July 27, 2023 -- Adweek, the leading source of news and insights covering marketing, media, and technology, today announced the appointment of Will Lee as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). A talented and respected media executive, Lee brings over twenty-five years of media experience transforming and innovating iconic media brands including NPR, People, Entertainment Weekly, and Hollywood Reporter.
Lee joins as part of a broader investment in Adweek’s strategy to accelerate growth and expand its multiplatform offerings to fuel the marketing and advertising ecosystem. As Adweek’s CEO, Lee will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's management, strategy and operations. He will play a pivotal role in shaping the brand’s direction and product offering as Adweek continues to expand the ways it educates, informs, and inspires marketers and advertisers to do their job better.
"Will’s strong track record of digital innovation and brand transformation, leadership and commitment to DEI in organizations, and strategic creativity is an extremely rare combination,” said Laura Held, Adweek Board Member and Shamrock Capital Partner. “I am thrilled to have Will lead Adweek during this transformative time.”
“I have always been drawn to the Adweek brand - not only for its strong legacy, but for its immense potential,” said Lee. “I am massively excited to work with this talented team to make Adweek more essential to its audience than ever and chart a new path forward that serves the marketing and advertising community in new and meaningful ways.”
As Chief Operating Officer for NPR, Lee led the launch of the NPR Network, a new operating alliance maximizing the audience and revenue potential of NPR and its member stations and led strategy and product transformation. Prior to NPR, Lee served as SVP/Head of Digital, Entertainment Group at Meredith Corporation. There, he led and directed the digital and video businesses of People, Entertainment Weekly, People en Español and PeopleTV, with over 130 million total monthly users and over a billion monthly content views. During his tenure, digital audiences and revenue more than tripled. Lee also served as Vice President of Digital Content and Programming at The Hollywood Reporter, where he led a complete relaunch of the newsroom and drove record-breaking audience growth for THR.com and The Hollywood Reporter’s video.
In addition to the appointment of Will Lee as CEO, media executive Rich Battista has been named as Executive Chairman of the Adweek Board. Battista joins current board members including Antonio Lucio, an experienced and successful leader in the marketing and advertising industry who has held Global CMO roles for Facebook, HP Inc., and Visa, as well as Chief Innovation and Portfolio Transformation Officer for PepsiCo Inc.
Battista has a long and accomplished career in the entertainment, media and sports industries, and is a proven leader with significant experience and success operating, building, and revitalizing large-scale multiplatform companies. As CEO of Time Inc, Battista transformed one of the world's most iconic and historically significant publishing companies into a leading multiplatform media enterprise by becoming a top 10 digital property, generating over 140 million monthly unique users, 1 billion monthly video views and 280 million social followers, expanding upon a premier live events business and building new businesses in television production, streaming and product licensing. He successfully directed the $2.8 billion sale of the company to Meredith Corp. Battista also served as CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide, revitalizing the organization's digital presence and generating new revenue streams that resulted in its $2.3 billion sale. He also conceived of, built, and operated several highly valuable businesses during his 18-year career within various Fox Entertainment and Sports divisions.
Additionally, Jenny Rooney, Adweek's Chief Experience Officer, will also be expanding her role. Rooney will report directly to Lee and focus on creating new initiatives, resources and experiential offerings that continue to build the Adweek platform in a premium, differentiated way to better serve marketing decision-makers and the broader marketing ecosystem.
Adweek is the leading source of news and insight serving the brand marketing ecosystem. First published in 1979, Adweek’s award-winning coverage reaches an engaged community across platforms including print, digital, events, podcasts, newsletters, social media and mobile apps. As a touchstone of the advertising and marketing community, Adweek is an unparalleled resource for leaders across multiple industries who rely on its content to help them do their jobs better.