Slate president Keith Hernandez to open Mumbrella’s Publish conference

Keith Hernandez, president of the world’s first successful online magazine Slate, is to open this year’s Publish conference in an address which will coincide with the masthead’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

Organised by Mumbrella, Publish returns on Thursday September 15, and will take place at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. It will be followed in the evening by the Publish Awards ceremony at the same venue. Entries close tomorrow for the Publish Awards.

Hernandez joined Slate in November last year after nearly four years with viral news behemoth Buzzfeed. As well as reflecting on Slate’s 20th birthday, he will share insights into the strategies behind the rise of off-platform distribution and Slate’s big bet on podcasting as a revenue stream.

Slate was originally owned by Microsoft and today publishes more than 1,500 articles per month with a vast global reach.

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Publish is organised in conjunction with Publishers Australia. The conference is dedicated to exploring the future of both print and digital publishing.

The conference will also see a rare appearance from Nicholas Gray, CEO of News Corp’s flagship title The Australian. Gray will speak candidly about the re-focusing of national broadsheet The Australian including its shift to digital, and its financial performance in recent years. Before joining The Australian, Gray was GM and publisher of Business Spectator and is a former sales boss of Ninemsn.

The Australian CEO Nicholas Gray. Pic - James Croucher

Publish will include a focus on how publishers of all types including magazine, newspaper and digital players can increase and diversify their revenue streams.

And a panel of Australia’s top media buyers and strategists will offer advice on how to make a masthead of greater interest to those who hold the advertising pursestrings, along with insights on how smaller titles can get time with them in the first place. Amplifi’s Erica Kokiw, Foundation’s Rachael Lonergan, Starcom Melbourne’s Naomi Johnston and Maxus’ Mark McCraith will feature on the panel.

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In a transformation case study, Solstice Media’s Paul Hamra will share the story of how his publishing company first transformed Adelaide’s The Independent Weekly printed newspaper into a daily digital news service InDaily. The lessons learned in the process provided the platform for the publisher to go on to launch national title The New Daily.

Paul Hamra

Podcasting, and how publishers can make money out of the rising interest in audio, will be discussed with Mamamia’s GM Kylie Rogers explaining the female-focused online network’s approach to owning women’s ears.

Kylie Rogers

And Mumbrella’s CEO Martin Lane will present how publishers can build revenues with events, providing tips on how to structure an in-house events management team.

The conference program is designed to be relevant both to those working in the traditional magazine and newspaper space, and those who are already mainly in digital. Other topics to be discussed during the day include subscription marketing, the challenge of ad-blockers, video and native content.

Publish is curated by Mumbrella publishing editor Miranda Ward. To suggest a session topic or a speaker please contact her at

Tickets are on sale now on the Publish website, with an earlybird discount of $100 for those who book by August 5.

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