Media's New Business Model: Success without Google

Moderated by:
Jessica Vascellaro (Wall Street Journal)
Bernard Gershon (GershonMedia, LLC), Tristan Harris (Apture), Heidi Perry (ShareThis), Darian Shirazi (Fwix)
Strategy & Business Models
Location: 2005 Level:
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From Rupert Murdoch’s threat to pull News Corp. content from Google to the general uprising of bloggers and site publishers against so-called “content scraping,” the news economy is being contemplated without Google News. So how can media companies and publishers gain traffic and revenue without the stalwart Google index? And what do those business platforms look like? Hint: It doesn’t have to do with a different search engine and it has everything to do with where Web 2.0 is headed, from real-time social sharing to aggregation, monetization and distribution.

Photo of Jessica Vascellaro

Jessica Vascellaro

Wall Street Journal

Jessica Vascellaro is a reporter for the San Francisco bureau of The Wall Street Journal. In this position, she is responsible for the paper’s news and feature coverage of Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Internet startups. Later this summer, she will take a new post as Deputy Bureau Chief of the Media Bureau of the Wall Street Journal, reporting on technology and media from New York.

Ms. Vascellaro joined the Wall Street Journal in 2005, after graduating from Harvard College. She is a frequent guest on radio and cable television and on WSJ’s live online video shows, The Hub and Digits Live.

Ms. Vascellaro started her career in 2003 as an intern reporter for the Associated Press and was named executive editor of the Harvard Crimson, the college’s daily newspaper, in 2004.

She also served as an intern reporter for The Boston Globe, a position she held for the summer of 2004.

Photo of Bernard Gershon

Bernard Gershon

GershonMedia, LLC

Bernard Gershon is currently the President, Gershon Media, a digital media strategy practice with a focus on the convergence of information and entertainment. Mr. Gershon is advising several early stage companies. He is on the Advisory Boards of Boxee, Fwix, Panvidea, Junobaby and several other companies in the mobile and online video space.

Bernard Gershon was formally Senior Vice President and General Manager, Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Technology, at The Walt Disney Company. In this role, he was responsible for developing new digital businesses for The Walt Disney Company. In addition, he developed new digital revenue opportunities for all Disney/ABC content including broadband, wireless, cable, IPTV and VOD.
Most recently, Mr. Gershon was instrumental in delivering Disney/ABC content, including “High School Musical”, “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” to the Sprint mobile video service. He also launched and distributed the 24-hour ABC News channel, ABC News Now, to new digital platforms including digital cable, broadband, VOD and wireless, and on devices like the Sony Playstation Portable© and Apple’s iPod©.

In March 2003, he created ABC News Live, the Web’s first 24/7 streaming news network, and in July 2004, Peter Jennings re-launched the channel as ABC News Now with the start of his gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Democratic convention. Today, ABC News Now is available on digital cable, broadband and mobile.

In 2002, Mr. Gershon introduced the first standalone subscription service from a major network when he launched “ABC News On Demand.” The service offered the latest ABC News video content from programs like “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight” and “Nightline.”

Mr. Gershon joined in 1999 as Vice President and General Manager. Under his leadership, marked several important milestones— its first two years of profitability and numerous prestigious awards for online journalism, including the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow award for Overall Excellence.

Acknowledged within the industry as a pioneer in streaming media, as early as 1995, Mr. Gershon started ABC’s first streaming media Internet site— Mr. Gershon started the first regularly scheduled online web cast with ABC News’ Sam Donaldson, and expanded that offering with the Internet-only web cast, "Political Points,” co-produced with the New York Times. He also oversaw the creation and development of the Internet-exclusive investigative series, “Internet Exposé,” hosted by ABC News’ Chris Wallace. Mr. Gershon was named #9 on Streaming Media Magazine’s Top 50 Most Influential figures in streaming media in 2003.

Previously, Mr. Gershon was Vice President of ABC News Radio, responsible for all information programming produced for the ABC Radio Networks’ 140 million weekly listeners. During his tenure, the ABC News Radio staff received the RTNDA’s Edward R. Murrow award for Overall Excellence for four consecutive years.

Before joining ABC News in 1993, Mr. Gershon was Associate Director, News and Programming for WCBS NewsRadio 88. He also served as News Director of WOR Radio, New York.

Photo of Tristan Harris

Tristan Harris


Tristan stopped out of the Stanford Computer Science Masters program to start Apture. A Mayfield Fellow with the Stanford Technology Ventures Program in entrepreneurship, Tristan is an alumnus of Wikia. When not evangelizing Apture, he spends his time playing Yann Tiersen music on the piano and dancing Argentine Tango in San Francisco. Tristan holds a BS in Computer Science from Stanford, with a focus in Human Computer Interaction.

Photo of Heidi Perry

Heidi Perry


Heidi represents the voice of the customer for over 400 million people and publishers reached through the ShareThis network, and is responsible for product, publisher and brand marketing. Prior to ShareThis, Perry was the VP of marketing for social/casual gaming publisher PlayFirst, where she helped define early social gaming and social media practices and introduce casual games to millions of women online. Perry has also specialized in driving adoption, engagement, and new revenue models for consumer Internet businesses such as Vivaty, Yahoo! Games and Viacom’s Heidi started her career in interactive consultancy USWeb/CKS, and she holds an MBA from Oxford University and a BBA from Emory University.

Photo of Darian Shirazi

Darian Shirazi


Darian Shirazi is the CEO & Founder of Fwix, which is organizing the world’s information by location. Prior, he was an early employee on the engineering team at Facebook. Darian studied Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley prior to dropping out to start Fwix. He also advises several early stage startups including Udemy and Mall World on Facebook.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Jennifer Winters
05/08/2010 9:59am PDT

Good panel. Maybe have Tristan Harris have a session of his own in the future. Thanks!

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