Why we’re rebranding as The Media Leader
The Media Leader editor Omar Oakes explains why the title has rebranded from Mediatel News.
To be frank, I and my colleagues have agonised over this rebrand in recent months. It has not been an easy decision to drop Mediatel from our name and rebrand to The Media Leader.
We are still very much a Mediatel brand and proud of it. But we’ve changed. And we want to change further.
We have ambitions to grow our reach beyond the UK, starting soon in the US and in more countries, too, as we build an international B2B media platform.
Rather than do the easy thing and launch ‘Mediatel News US’, we felt it was important to create a new standalone brand that better represents what we are and how we want a new generation of readers to see us.
Since Mediatel was acquired by Adwanted last year, we are now owned by an international media tech business. This gives us a unique opportunity to become an international publishing brand, starting with the US. Adwanted also owns SRDS, a US media planning platform, which chimes with Mediatel’s heritage as the UK’s leading media data resource and software provider.
As the Mediatel business has grown over the years, Newsline (as it was first called) became Mediatel News, the UK’s leading source of thought leadership and analysis about the media industry.
The columnists have always told it as they have honestly seen it. The journalists have always been given licence to write what they feel is important, rather than write what every other title is writing about, because its audience was rooted in a senior audience of media executives, agency leaders, and media research professionals.
Since joining as editor last May, I have been very mindful to preserve this special place Mediatel News has established in the UK media industry. When trying to make your mark as a new editor, there is always a temptation to justify your existence by finding quick routes to audience growth at all costs.
However, rightly or wrongly, I’ve chosen to make Mediatel News more distinct and, in some ways, more exclusive, if anything. Even if it means shrinking our potential audience.
I have repositioned our editorial offering as being “100% Media” i.e. we are 100% focused on the news, issues and themes that matter most to media industry professionals – whether it’s about how we fund media, how we make media, or how we regulate media.
We are not pretending to be a bible for advertising creativity or a place to find lectures about brand marketing effectiveness.
While everyone in the advertising and marketing industry is more than welcome to talk to us and write for us, there is just one condition: they need to have a view about media, the most interesting, disruptive, and dynamic industry on the planet.
In spite of this strategy, our UK audience has not shrunk, however. In each of the last six months, we’ve been pleased to find our audience has been growing by double digits. That is, up until January 2022… when our audience grew by triple digits – it doubled. And, once again, we are on track in February to more than double our year-on-year audience.
Because, the thing is, when you’re producing content for a highly knowledgeable and discerning audience of professionals, they can see through you when you spread yourself too thin and try to be something you’re not.
So we’re not going to follow the crowd when it comes to writing about media, tech, and advertising news. We’re going to lead. We are literally calling ourselves The Media Leader to hold ourselves to that standard.