Editor’s note: In an ongoing series, INMA is profiling our most engaged members — our super fans — to give members a chance to learn more about each other. Today we profile Dev Pragad, CEO of Newsweek in New York, United States.
Although these have been challenging times, they have brought about positive change, said Dev Pragad, CEO of Newsweek.
“The past few years reaffirmed my belief that a focused and mission-driven organisation can overcome unique challenges in the face of significant adversity,” he said. “While we did not know what the COVID-19 variants meant for our industry, we were not afraid to work together and set challenging and meaningful goals for us to stretch and achieve in new ways in 2022.”
One unique challenge Pragad and his team faced was bringing back Newsweek’s legacy print publication: “We were told we were crazy for doing so. We were able to redefine our model of customer centricity and to listen to what a segment of our readers were looking for: high-quality journalism they could physically hold.”
INMA recently caught up with him to learn more.
INMA: If you had your career to do over again, what would you want to know in the beginning?
Pragad: A reminder to be unafraid of calculated risks: If you fail, learn and move forward quickly.
INMA: What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?
Pragad: To see the faces of my wife and four children and know that I’m helping lead an organisation that will shape a better future for them.
INMA: What success within your company are you most proud of right now?
Pragad: Harvard Business School recently published a business case on Newsweek’s transformation, which was a multi-year effort involving every team and division across the company. Since 2019, we’ve grown our digital readership to more than 100 million unique visitors a month and increased digital ad revenue by 166%. We’re extremely pleased to be included in business curriculums at Harvard as an example of grit and outstanding cross-functional business stewardship.
INMA: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Pragad: A meaningful, collective vision and an unbending determination to achieve will lead teams through even the most challenging periods.
INMA: What do you do to relax?
Pragad: Reading and playing with my children.
INMA: If you hadn’t gone into news media, what was your backup plan?
Pragad: Having graduated with my Ph.D. from King’s College, London, I would have likely gone into academic research.
INMA: What is your favourite thing to read?
Pragad: The outstanding content of Newsweek, of course.
INMA: What do you find the most challenging/interesting about the news media industry right now?
Pragad: Newsweek strives to speak to — and listen to — readers across the political and cultural spectrum. Media has become so polarised and weaponised; it is a daily challenge to promote healthy dialogue in a thoughtful and meaningful way.