NextNews seeks to engage with entrepreneurs who share our enthusiasm and commitment to the future of news — both as a great good and a great business. As journalists ourselves, we learned early that a “why” and “what” should be accompanied by a “how.” We identify, partner with and help accelerate the companies that are changing the ways the world creates, receives, shares and monetizes its news, data and information. That is a mouthful, reflecting large opportunities – and also challenges – ahead. Our key added value: helping our portfolio company leaders and teams to recognize opportunities early and seize the advantage, while leveraging our contacts and experience to grow successfully and avoid the pitfalls that all companies face.
As the former Publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Executive Vice President of Dow Jones and President of its Consumer Media Group, Crovitz has been active in digital media since the early 1990s. Crovitz led the growth of The Wall Street Journal Online to one million paying subscribers, making WSJ.com the largest paid news site on the Web. While at Dow Jones, he launched the Factiva business-search service and led the acquisitions of the CBS MarketWatch website, VentureOne database, Private Equity Analyst newsletter and online news services VentureWire (Silicon Valley), e-Financial News (London) and VWD (Frankfurt).
In 2009, Crovitz co-founded the Press+ software e-commerce and data company that enables more than 500 news publishers around the world to generate digital subscription revenues for access to their digital products such as mobile versions and websites. Press+ was acquired by RR Donnelley.
Crovitz is a member of the board of directors of Business Insider, Dun & Bradstreet, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Marin Software and Blurb. He formerly served on the boards of Factiva, ProQuest and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
His investments in early-stage news, information and software companies include Betaworks, Business Insider, Quid, Rumble, SkyGrid, SocialChorus, Social Median (sold to Xing), Skift, Watchup, Wiser and YieldMo.
He writes the weekly “Information Age” column for The Wall Street Journal.
Craig Forman is an entrepreneur, a senior media, technology and telecommunications executive and former Wall Street Journal bureau chief and foreign correspondent. He has held senior executive roles with EarthLink, Yahoo!, Time Warner, Infoseek, and Dow Jones, most recently as president of EarthLink’s consumer access and audience business. Before that, he led Yahoo! Inc.’s News, Finance, Sports and other premier media properties as head of media and information products at the internet giant.
Mr. Forman also has served as a director on a variety of public and private company boards. He is a director at news and information leader McClatchy Co., the publisher of The Miami Herald and many other U.S. newspapers, as well as Montreal-based local digital media and marketing-solutions provider Yellow Pages Ltd. In March 2015, Mr. Forman joined the board at Digital Turbine Inc., following its acquisition of Appia, Inc., a mobile-applications technology company where Mr. Forman had served as executive chairman since 2011. Previously Mr. Forman served as executive chairman of WHERE, Inc., a leading mobile-advertising technology network acquired by eBay Inc. in 2011.
Forman began his career at The Wall Street Journal, where he served as a foreign correspondent and Tokyo Bureau Chief. He was part of the reporting team that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for their coverage of the first Persian Gulf War. He is author of the Amazon acclaimed book, “Be Luckier in Life.”
An SF Bay Area resident for most of the past 20 years, Craig has a law degree from Yale and an undergraduate degree from Princeton.
Jim Friedlich co-founded Empirical Media in 2011 and serves as its CEO. Jim is a highly experienced media operating and investment executive, with a background in private equity, venture capital, and both traditional and digital media. Jim leads client engagements in multiple media sectors.
From 1990 to 2000, Jim managed the global advertising sales, consumer marketing and business development of a large and diverse group of Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones & Company newspapers, magazines, web sites, cable TV channels and conferences. He served on the Board of Directors of CNBC International, as well as joint ventures with Nikkei, Handlesblatt, and the Financial Times.
In 2001, Jim co-founded ZelnickMedia, a New York-based private equity investment firm focused on media and telecom. From 2001-2010, Jim lead the firm’s investment in publishing and information services. He was integrally involved in the acquisition and management of Time Life (direct-response media), Take-Two Interactive (video games), Alloy Media (television and digital media), and ITN Networks (broadcast television). Jim served as Executive Chairman of Naylor LLC, the leading business-to-business media services provider for trade associations throughout North America, a ZelnickMedia portfolio company.
Jim attended Dartmouth College, is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a BA in English and received his MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He serves on the Board of Directors of Dice Holdings (NYSE), WFMU (public radio), The Door and University Settlement (social services). Jim lives with his wife, Melissa, a studio artist, and their son Max in a converted printing factory in New York City.