Warren Webster will discuss the power of having an online local strategy and share experiments and successes from AOL’s Local Town properties, which include Patch.com, City’s Best, and MapQuest. Together, these three properties share a similar focus on technology, rapid launch and regeneration, and unique targeted advertising opportunities.
Warren Webster is the president of Patch Media, a community-specific news and information platform in over 800 towns and neighborhoods across the U.S. Patch provides comprehensive and trusted original content created by its full-time professional journalists, as well as user-contributed events, announcements and discussions. Patch’s mission is to strengthen communities and improve the lives of their residents through improved access to the information that matters most.
Webster was the first to join the Patch team, in December 2007, when the idea was hatched by Tim Armstrong, then-President for The Americas at Google Inc. Armstrong couldn’t find a local volunteer opportunity for his family one weekend; he founded Patch based on this, along with his belief that there was a troubling void in quality and quantity of local news, information and discourse at the neighborhood level.
Patch launched its first three sites in February of 2009. In April of 2009, Armstrong became Chairman and CEO of AOL, which acquired Patch in June of 2009. In 2010 AOL made a major investment in building Patch’s operations and technology to support the launch of over 500 sites in 20 states by the end of the year. The company hired more professional journalists than any other organization in the country in 2010.
Webster has spent the last 12 years in the media and online industries, most recently at as the Vice President of Material Media, a publisher of niche content sites including Babble.com. Previously he was Director of Magazine Publishing for Gannett in Westchester, NY, where he was responsible for more than 40 local and regional titles. Prior to that he held various leadership positions at Morris Communications Corporation, including Group General Manager of 9 local newspapers, magazines and online news and information sites between Aspen and Vail, Colorado.
Webster was chosen as one of SAI/Business Insider’s “Silicon Alley 100: New York’s Coolest Tech People” in October 2010, as well as Forbes Magazine’s “Most Powerful People On Earth” in November 2010 (Arianna Huffington, “My Picks: Media”).
Webster graduated from St. Lawrence University with a BA in English.
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