World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Practical insight into leadership challenges

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Practical insight into leadership challenges

When Giacomelli took the reins two years ago at Delo, a leading Slovenian news media company with a more than 50-year tradition, the company was facing something of a crisis: The circulation at both papers was decreasing and ad revenues had seen a 35-percent drop in the previous two years.

As a sign of lacking foresight, there was no digital strategy whatsoever. Giacomelli also observed a lack of editorial, marketing and sales competence, together with a “culture of mistrust and legacy of mismanagement.”

Now, thanks to several changes at different levels of the company, it is doing remarkably better. Reinforcing the readership of both leading news brands was essential, as was the development of the entire brand portfolio to keep and strengthen the market share. The news company also had to acknowledge the change in times and invest in 21st century journalism, with a strong belief in paid content. Now, it has a sound digital strategy behind its offerings on multiple platforms.

Giacomelli says that to cause change on that scale, effective leadership is required at several levels of the organization. Proficient senior management and senior editors are not enough; there is also a need for strong support from the owners, along with sufficient talent and competence across the entire organization.

In his view, implementation needs to be handled by competent people, so that management can be freed from that duty: “In my job, I shouldn’t deal with implementation,” Giacomelli says, adding that he considers any implementation in his job as a failure.

To be an effective leader in the long run, one also needs to constantly check and evaluate priorities and focus. Leading an organization is always a process, and it has to evolve as the organization evolves, which is why calm leadership that doesn’t get over-worried about short term-issues is essential.

“It’s true: you are alone as a leader, but you act together with people,” Giacomelli says, adding that leadership is always a cultural challenge, and one in which resources and time are limited.


Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson


2011-10-15 17:27

Author information

The 71st World News Media Congress, the 26th World Editors Forum and the 3rd Women in News Summit took place from 1 - 3 June 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In this blog, WAN-IFRA provides previews, interviews, summaries of the presentations and other useful information about the Congress.

Participants were also very active on Twitter throughout the event under the hashtag #wnmc19.

In 2011 the newspaper world gathered in Vienna, Austria for IFRA Expo 2011, 63rd World Newspaper Congress and 18th World Editors Forum.

This is the event's live blog.

© 2020 WAN-IFRA - World Association of News Publishers

Footer Navigation