Q&A with Bill Jensen and Warren Webster

Bill Jensen (Village Voice Media), Warren Webster (Patch Media)
Ballroom E1
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Photo of Bill Jensen

Bill Jensen

Village Voice Media

Director of New Media Bill Jensen drives all content, development and social media for Village Voice Media (VVM), a chain of 14 city-specific websites (e.g., LA Weekly, Village Voice, Miami New Times, SFWeekly) and national blogs (e.g., Topless Robot) that has quadrupled in traffic since winter of 2007. After earning a BA from Boston University and a Master’s degree from the University of Kansas, Jensen played professional roller hockey and painted houses while writing and producing his hockey fight zine. The Fight Card was spotted by the Village Voice, which assigned him a story for the first issue of its Long Island edition. He rose through the editorial ranks, before moving on to help launch the Long Island Press weekly as managing editor, where he hired Amy Fisher as a crime columnist. He came back to Village Voice Media in January of 2007, and has overseen all web and mobile platforms. Since then, digital media revenue has grown more than 400%, and now represents close to 40% of the chain’s overall income.

Warren Webster

Patch Media

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.

  • Nokia
  • OnStar
  • Esri
  • AT&T Interactive
  • Google
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • AND Automotive Navigation Data
  • C3 Technologies
  • Ditto
  • Facebook
  • Factual
  • MapQuest
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • NAVTEQ

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