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.
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.
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.