A star of the future… on the future: BBC History’s Ellie Cawthorne on print and digital – the perfect mix


Ellie Cawthorne ()

Rising Star from BBC History magazine Ellie Cawthorne, pictured with Thomas Waltasaari, Area Sales Director, UPM Communication Papers (left) and James Hewes, President and CEO, FIPP (right).


Ellie Cawthorne is Section Editor at BBC History magazine, a multi-platform title devoted to British and world history and aimed at all levels of knowledge and interest. The title has been running since 2000 and, with a circulation of almost 100,000, Cawthorne says print is an integral part of the model.

“For us, print continues to serve a really important role for a number of audiences – not least traditional consumers, who still have an affinity for print and really value the opportunity to get their hands on something that they can immerse themselves in over time,” she says.

“I think it’s a classic example of a specialist brand, a specialist title, that will continue to offer something different through very high quality print, and will therefore continue to command a thriving print audience.

“That said, the digital offering is just as important in reaching certain other audiences,” she adds. “We have really good engagement with the digital content from the US, New Zealand, Australia and India – so it is really driving international reach.

“For me, it’s just a really good example of where the ideal scenario is not print or digital, but a print and digital mix, all of which are adding to the experience for the consumer,” she adds.

To optimise the value of that mix, Cawthorne says her team has moved to being ‘content producers’ across platforms, rather than a print team and a digital team.

“We’re using 360-degree commissioning to drive efficiency in the creation of content across the channels and platforms,” she says, “ but that’s also making sure different platforms give a fuller experience for audiences using them all. We start with an idea and what comes out of it is a relevant feature for print, an online video or podcast and debate through social channels. That’s offering a full experience for all – and it demonstrates the value of a true print and digital mix.” 


Rising Stars 2020 logo ()

Now in its 6th year, the Rising Stars in Media Awards seek the best and brightest new talent in our industry. The 2020 edition is open and you can submit your entry (or nominate someone from your team) here. Entries close on 24 Friday 24 July.

This article is an extract from The Future of Media, a whitepaper made in partnership with UPM Communication Papers. You can download the full report here. 


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