Wan-Ifra announces program for Table Stakes Europe

Publishers aim to make digital business more sustainable

Wan-Ifra announces program for Table Stakes Europe

Wan-Ifra recently announced the names of 24 publishers participating in its Table Stakes Europe initiative for the coming year. The program is said to be growing fast, almost doubling from the original 14 participants in 2019/20 and replicating the rapid growth of the same program in the United States.

A twelve-month performance-driven change management initiative, the coaching program asks each participant to select a challenge relating to making their digital business more sustainable – doubling the number of digital subscribers or creating new digital products for specific audiences.

Table Stakes Europe is supported by the Google News Initiative Digital Growth Program. The program will be led once again by Table Stakes architect Doug Smith, with an expanded team of five coaches – with Pepe Cerezo and Valérie Arnould joining the team including Alexandra Borchardt, Stéphane Mayoux and Nick Tjaardstra. Expert advisors and fellow publishers will join them during the 10-12 month duration of the program.

Read our article on the first edition of Table Stakes Europe here

A transformation and coaching program for regional and local news publishers, Table Stakes Europe uses a challenge-centric, performance-and-accountability change methodology to identify and then close shortfalls against seven core performance challenges, the ‘Table Stakes’. The so-called ‘table stakes’ is an expression for the money needed to have a seat at the table in a poker game. The program builds upon the successful track record of an initiative designed and led by Doug Smith since 2015. In the United States, “Table Stakes” is a project of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative.

We’re looking forward to working with all of the impressive news enterprises in this next round of Table Stakes Europe,” said Doug Smith.

Table Stakes Europe is a game-changer which had a positive impact on all the news organizations participating in the first round. We are thrilled to double the number of participants in this second year and widen the benefits of the program for the European press,” said Vincent Peyrègne, chief executive officer Wan-Ifra.

The feedback from participating publishers after the first round of Table Stakes Europe has been excellent in showing the importance of understanding your audience. Table Stakes framework delivered tangible and actionable results. We are really excited to see this strong list of 24 European publishers starting the new round,” said Eero Korhonen, head of news & publishers at Google.

The results from round 1 publishers were impressive, with some doubling digital subscriptions and making stretch targets for more growth, others increasing the number of registrations or seeing six-fold increases in engagement with content verticals.

Click here to read an interview with Andreas Müller, chief executive officer of Medienhaus Aachen in Germany, who participated in the 2019/20 program.

Wan-Ifra is the World Association of News Publishers. Its mission is to protect the rights of journalists and publishers around the world to operate independent media. Wan-Ifra provides its members with expertise and services to innovate and prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in society. With formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe, it derives its authority from its global network of leading news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, and its legitimacy from its 80 national association members representing 18,000 publications in 120 countries.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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