I’m Markham Nolan, VP of Media Operations at WWE. Since 2010, I’ve led digital teams in the greater New York area and in Ireland, spanning startups and corporates in news and entertainment. I operate where the technology, content and strategy meet to find, understand, grow and enthrall users, and turn them into loyal visitors. I pull teams together from different disciplines, divisions and timezones to bring about organizational change that makes businesses more focused, efficient and creative.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE): Current
I’m VP of Media Operations at WWE . I lead around 30 people and six teams that deliver and program WWE content on all our digital platforms in the smartest ways possible. They manage and grow the award-winning 1.5-million subscriber WWE Network, our 70-million-subscriber YouTube channel, and a network of social accounts with more than a billion followers. I work on international distribution, product and delivery tech enhancements, original and PPV scheduling strategy, monetization strategy & execution and how we pull that all together for acquisition and retention. I live in our analytics dashboards and get to play in a lot of interesting, fast-moving areas, working with a lot of very smart teams.
CBS News Digital: Nov 2016 – April 2019
Before joining WWE, I spent 2.5 years as Senior Director of Editorial, Growth & Engagement at CBS News Digital. I brought together teams of journalists, product specialists, engineers, marketers and more to grow digital audiences for the streaming OTT news product CBSN & the hugely underrated CBSnews.com (a 4billion-PVs-a-year sleeping giant). For a little over a year, I also ran the CBSnews.com news team, making daily coverage devisions.
In order to drive significant change in how CBS used content to reach more and more news consumers, I bridged gaps between divisions: digital-to-legacy, product-to-editorial, marketing-to-everybody. I rolled out Slack across the news organisation (helpful after I left when COVID hit!), worked on email newsletter roll-out, push notification and cross-platform distribution strategy and generally wore a lot of hats. I learned a lot about broadcast, and how to help it relate to digital users more effectively. CBS News is a great institution full of amazing people dedicated to explaining America to America. CBS Interactive, similarly, brings magic to millions every day.
Vocativ: Nov 2013 – Nov 2016
I was Head of Visual Storytelling at Vocativ, having started there as Managing Editor. Again, a lot of hats. My primary role was bridging gaps between cultures and divisions to create unique and effective newsgathering and storytelling workflows. I managed teams in New York and Tel Aviv; one team was largely post-military-service digital analysts, the other made up of dyed-in-the-wool American journalists. I built a data journalism & visualisation team there from scratch before leaving. I’m proud of that. It was a great introduction to American media and a steep learning curve.
Storyful: Oct 2010-Nov 2013
Before that, I lived in Dublin, Ireland, where I helped build Storyful, the world’s first social media news agency and did a lot of this. We helped define how the news industry thought about newsgathering via social media and built pioneering, technical workflows that are now part of modern journalism’s best practices.
NewsCorp bought Storyful for $25m, so they obviously liked what we built. If you want to understand more about me, or go deeper into my odd resume, look for Markham Nolan on LinkedIn. (There is one other Markham Nolan out there – we are very different people.) It was group of outstanding journalists who are now off winning prizes for the NYT, CNN and others.
I started out in media as a sailing photographer in Dublin, aged 17. After a few tours in newspapers and magazines and a handful of detours, including two years running an embroidery factory (!), I found my way into digital journalism. I have spent my life telling stories & teaching, using images and text to make sense of the world in creative ways.
TED Talk humblebrag
While at Storyful, I was invited to give a TED talk about separating fact from fiction in news. It has, for some unknown reason, become very salient again.