Rapid-round Congress Q&A: Andrés Rodríguez, Founder and CEO, Spainmedia

AI, third party data, new monetisation opportunities, evolving social media platforms… One of the pre-requisites of running a media company in 2023 is being prepared to deal with constant change.

In particular the speed of change in digital media is unlike anything publishing executives have ever had to contend with before.

At FIPP Congress 2023 Andrés Rodríguez will be offering his take on how publishing entities should evolve. Andrés has a great story to tell too, as he has emerged from a print background into founding and overseeing Spainmedia, a company that combines high quality print products with innovative digital brands.

In this interview he discusses:

  • How brands need to live and edit with a background of constant change
  • Why print media won’t be disappearing any time soon

At FIPP World Media Congress in Cascais, Portugal, on 6-8 June, Andrés will be part of a panel discussing Strategies for navigating through market turmoil towards a brighter future.

For specially discounted tickets click here.

Here he responds to our rapid-round questions.

Who are you? And what is your role in the media/publishing?

I am a traffic guard and the captain of the ship of Spainmedia. I am the owner and the founder. I set the course and decide what is published and what is not. I also oversee the recruitment of talent, the publisher’s personal relationships and the development of the brand. The brands I represent are a reference for our audiences, always one step ahead, but close to them.

What have been the highlights of your career in media/publishing so far?

Jann Wenner trusted me to edit Rolling Stone in Spain. The Szulberger family, owner of the New York Times, trusted me to edit their lifestyle magazine for the first time in Europe. The Hearst Group trusted me with their titles before acquiring Hachette. I won the Eisenhower Fellow Award for best editor.

I then created Tapas Magazine and was responsible for the success of this lifestyle and food culture brand in Spain and its international projection. I won the National Gastronomy Award in Communication. Founder of Club Matador, part of Teatro Real and the Liceo Board of Protectors, author of the first biography of Camarón de la Isla. My fellow publishers have trusted me as President of ARI (Association of Magazines). I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Press Association.

I am a founder and partner of El Español, the first digital newspaper in Spain. And I have three fantastic children. My vision is to be disruptive. I am a firm believer in brands, talent, and that the publishing business has a very promising future.

What do you see as the three key trends in the media?.

  1. The big digital players, Google, Facebook and their ecosystems, are not media, they are aggregators. Citizens need editors who filter information for them.
  2. Print is not dead. Print is the first brand generator; it is haute couture. Digital is the pret-a-porter. We will continue to see a more exclusive print offering and a more restricted digital.
  3. New distribution circuits. New forms of relationship between communities. Brands are already a medium, but they need good editors.

Why are these trends important and how will they change media/publishing?

We are immersed in a non-bloody digital revolution. Like any revolution, the rules of the game are being questioned. The new takes precedence over the old, but all revolutions teach us that later on the process will be refined, the waters calm down and the new day is a mixture of the old and the new. Magazines have their own language, as does radio. The digital revolution is different because it will be continuous, unlike other revolutions that have had a beginning and an end. We must get used to business plans that constantly evolve, to live and edit in constant change, because we ourselves as citizens, as members of a community, are in a transformation process too.

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