The Los Angeles Times today announced that digital pioneer Nicco Mele has been appointed deputy publisher. He will join the company in January 2015 and report directly to Austin Beutner, Times publisher and CEO.
In making the announcement Mr. Beutner said, “More than ever, as we go forward, we will have to find our customers each and every day, tell compelling stories with words, pictures, graphics and video – and do so across an increasing number of digital platforms. We need to grow our digital revenue by offering products and services that provide great value to our subscribers, sponsors and advertisers. Nicco brings the ideal set of skills and experience to help us meet this challenge.”
In his position as deputy publisher, Mele will focus on content, revenue, product and audience development for all of The Times’ products and services. This includes ensuring that existing digital products and services are growing, developing new business opportunities and launching new products and services while looking for possible acquisitions in the digital space.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute to an American institution such as the Los Angeles Times with its rich and storied history,” said Mele. “It is an exciting and challenging time for media companies in a competitive digital landscape. The opportunities abound. I am excited to get started and help The Times navigate a future of great promise.”
Mele has a history as an entrepreneur and digital executive. In 2004, at age 26, Mele co-founded the digital consulting and technical development firm EchoDitto, now Echo & Co., with offices in Boston, Washington DC, and Detroit. Echo & Co. builds solutions for clients who are facing, and being overtaken by, overwhelming technological and social change. Pioneers in open source software development, Mele and his team have built adaptive digital platforms and crowd-sourced applications for a wide range of public and private entities. Before founding Echo, Mele was webmaster for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, where he led the team of programmers and strategists to revolutionize online fundraising and organizing that changed politics as we know it.
Mele’s first book, The End of Big: How The Internet Makes David The New Goliath, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2013 and examines how institutions and businesses must adapt and thrive in our “radically connected” world. Since 2009, Mele has served on the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government teaching graduate-level classes on the internet, press, and politics and advising global media leaders at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. He has served as an angel investor and board member for over a dozen notable startups, including Turbovote, ProxyDemocracy, ShoutAbout, and OurCommonPlace.
Mele was born to Foreign Service parents, spending his early years in Asia and Africa before graduating from the College of William and Mary in Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in government. He sits on the advisory board of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and is also co-founder of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival.
Note: photo available upon request