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Smooth Operator, Season 1, Episode 7. Emily Welsh, VP & General Manager Buy Side from Wall Street Journal

Apr 3, 2024 by Martech Record

In our eighth episode of Smooth Operator, we talk with Emily Welsh, the Vice President and General Manager at Buy Side from The Wall Street Journal. There, she works with a team that, in her words, “operates like a startup” aimed at thinking five or ten years ahead.

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Emily has spent her entire career in publishing, beginning nearly two decades ago when Facebook and what was then Twitter were still in their infancy. The iPhone wasn’t yet released when she took a role in market research and events. 

In roles at Vogue and Conde Nast and over the 12 years she’s been at The Wall Street Journal, Emily has watched the evolution of how people consume—and want to consume—content. She’s developed a model for a team that can stay nimble and innovative in ideas about how to meet consumers where they are and serve their needs. That requires a focus on ROI and a team that is aligned, efficient, and forward-thinking.

Throughout the conversation, Emily discusses her team’s Q1 goals, which they surpassed, and some of the recent successes at Buy Side. 

Initiatives like the Buy Side’s recently launched “decoder” help generate revenue while ultimately helping the reader sort through information. Of several franchise ideas the company tested, the “decoder” came out as the top. 

“At the end of the day, the number one is serving the reader,” she said. “Because if all you do is have just a big list of things that are just clickbaity, people don't want to come back to your site.”

Smooth Operator is a podcast where we explore the business of commerce content. Commerce content is emerging as a key revenue driver for media and publishing companies. However, best practices for building the operations, sales, technology, and culture of commerce content organizations are still evolving.