POLITICO announces a new Global Audience team


Announcement from Executive Director, Global Newsroom Strategy, Francesca Barber, Global Editor-in-Chief John Harris, POLITICO Europe Editor-in-Chief Jamil Anderlini, Executive Editor Joe Schatz, POLITICO Europe Deputy Editor-in-Chief Kate Day, Head of News Alex Burns, and Managing Editor of POLITICO Europe Laura Greenhalgh:

We’re delighted to announce the creation of POLITICO’s first Global Audience Team. This is a major step towards operating as one transatlantic team and building a global newsroom that puts audience first, as the premier destination for politics, policy and power. We want our audience ambitions to match those of the global organization — as the name suggests, this team’s remit will be that of both the US & European newsrooms.

As part of this change, we’re thrilled to announce that Zainab Khan will be joining POLITICO to lead the team as Managing Editor, Global Audience. In this role, Zainab will manage a team of editors across the Atlantic tasked with bringing data-led thinking to our editorial priorities to better understand our target audience, find them, encourage and incentivize them to come to our platforms and products, and stay for longer. This includes connecting the dots between our users on PRO and E&E, our websites (.eu, .co.uk and .com), our apps, our events, and our podcasts.

In collaboration with our newsroom leaders and the Data and Insights team, this new Audience function will work on regular analytics reviews to understand audience trends, showcasing our journalism on and off platform and experimenting with new channels (e.g. WhatsApp), an increased focus on SEO and other digital best practices. They will collaborate with editors on new coverage lines to identify opportunities using data, assess newsletter tactics to optimize for reader engagement and they will work with product to add habit-forming features that increase loyal audiences. An audience focus will help us prioritize decision-making for impact.

This new function will build on a lot of important work that is already happening across the US and EU by teams led by Emma Krstic in Brussels and Annie Yu in the U.S., in collaboration with Jordan Mueller and Rishika Dugyala. We have already transformed our editorial process in America, rolled out a 2024 coverage strategy on both sides of the ocean, brought new rigor and insights to our newsroom analytics in collaboration with Data & Insights, and by both quantitative and qualitative measures, we have heightened the impact of our report. But for POLITICO to reach its full potential, we need a world-class audience operation to make sure our work finds the readership that it deserves.

Zainab Khan is a talent that we’re lucky to have join us at this pivotal moment in POLITICO’s growth. She has spent her impressive career as an innovator in media, working at the intersection of newsgathering and business. She’s a leader and creative thinker who loves problem solving, building new ideas and learning from colleagues.

Zainab comes to us from Luminary, where in her role as VP of Strategy & Growth she worked with Marketing, Growth and Operations to grow show listenership and the overall audio show library, bring a digital-first expertise to the network and introduce new business models to drive revenue. Before that, Zainab was at the New York Times where she led video audience strategy on and off platform. This included growing the YouTube, Instagram and X channels and producing the initial work to launch on TikTok.

Prior to The Times, Zainab worked as an Audience Strategist at AJ+, Al Jazeera's digital-first publication, working on Apple News & Youtube. As a graduate student at UC Berkeley, Zainab launched her own digital media publication called Mozzified Muslim Pop Culture and a production company called Mozzified Studios. Mozzified attracted a substantial online audience within its first year. Zainab currently serves as a member of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s Board of Advisors.

In addition to Zainab’s arrival, we’re excited to announce a well-deserved promotion and expanded role for Emma Krstic, who will transition to Director of Engagement, Europe. If you don’t know Emma, you should meet her. Her energy and passion for audience are contagious.

Emma has been at POLITICO for just over two years, but in that time, she’s already made her mark. She’s helped increase POLITICO Europe’s readership by 30%, integrating data insights into newsroom strategies and processes, overseeing our social platforms and collaborating with our editors on HP promotion tactics like A/B headline testing. She’s been critical in transforming the culture of the newsroom to fully embrace how analytics and SEO optimization can be used to bolster our coverage.

Prior to POLITICO, Emma had a brief stint in Amsterdam working for an international architecture firm and five years at Balkan Insight, based in Serbia. There, she created and implemented the publication's audience development strategy, introduced new workflows and tools into the editorial process and ran the outlet’s live coverage. Prior to that, Emma worked as a reporter and radio presenter in her native Australia and in London.

Zainab will report to Francesca Barber and supervise a team that includes Emma Krstic, Annie Yu, Jordan Mueller and Rishika Dugyala.

With all of these changes, our goal is that audience will be at the center of our decision-making for what we do and how we do it.

Please congratulate Emma on her promotion and welcome Zainab to POLITICO. Zainab first day is today and will be based in New York.


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