Folio: held its third annual digital awards ceremony at the Yale Club in Manhattan on Thursday, gathering a small sea of black, navy and gray blazers and the media workers wearing them to collect a glass award for their business and back-end accomplishments over the last year.
Winners included WWD for best digital product for its Digital Daily and for Paul Jowdy, the publication’s chief business officer, who was named digital executive of the year for his leadership in growing WWD’s subscription audience and expanding its revenue streams. Jowdy and James Fallon, editorial director of Fairchild Fashion Media, who accepted the award for best digital product, both alluded briefly to the irony of a 108-year-old publication, long print-only, receiving two awards for digital excellence. Both executives also thanked Penske Media Corp., which in 2014 acquired most of Fairchild from Condé Nast.
Among the other winners were ESPN, which took home two awards, one for its digital photo archive and another for best integration with print for its World Fame 100 list; Meredith Corp. which also won two awards, both for its branded content agency The Foundry; Slate won for best redesign/relaunch of its web site; Bloomberg for best product team of the year, and Bustle Digital Group won for best digital brand extension.
Four executives also received Hall of Fame awards. Honorees were Jason Fox, vice president and chief digital officer of Consumer Reports; Margaret Mannix, vice president and editor in chief of digital for AARP; Stan Pavlovsky, president of digital for Meredith (he’s actually leaving the company next week for a c-suite role at Shutterstock), and Clarissa Matthews, director of product management and planning of The Atlantic.
Although the youngest of the Hall of Fame group, Matthews has the longest stint at her publication with 12 years under her belt, working her way up from an assistant in sales and marketing at the magazine. All of the honorees touched on how long they’ve been in the industry, with Fox even calling back to the “bake-off between CD-roms and the Internet” when he started his media career in the Nineties, but Matthews was the most frank about what a struggle it’s been for heritage brands to come through the digital wave.
“Sometimes,” Matthews said, “it felt like we kept the lights on through sheer force of will.”