Ross Levinsohn’s name is synonymous with experience, commitment and dedication to the media, finance and technology industries. With more than three decades of experience in leadership positions with increasing responsibility at a variety of well-known and recognized brands, Levinsohn recently stepped into the role of CEO of Maven.io, where he will oversee media brands Sports Illustrated and TheStreet.
Levinsohn’s Digital Media Background
From an early age, Ross Levinsohn recognized his desire to pursue a career in media. While attending American University, he studied communications, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications. He immediately jumped into work, eventually leading CBS’ Sportsline in the mid-1990s, where he gained valuable experience in digital media platforms.
When Levinsohn started working for Sportsline, digital media had only started gaining momentum. Levinsohn’s experience in this new arm of media and his “think outside the box” mentality propelled him into a coveted industry leader. At CBS, he focused his energy on “listening” and honed his ability to “take the words in, and mold [his] ideas before [he] talks.”
Building a Track Record of Success
From CBS’ Sportsline, Levinsohn gained more experience as GM of Alta Vista before moving on to President of Fox Interactive Media. He worked two years at Fox, using that time to expand the company’s digital engagement with web properties. For the next two years, Levinsohn served as the Managing Director of Yahoo, where he served as Executive VP and Interim CEO. In these roles, he was responsible for managing a company with $5 billion in annual revenue and a $20 billion market cap.
Further Media Experience
After his brief but impactful stint at Yahoo, Levinsohn acted as Interim CEO and Head of Global Media at Guggenheim Digital Media. This company invests in and operates various media properties worldwide, such as Billboard Magazine, the Hollywood Reporter and Adweek.
With years of digital media experience under his belt , Ross Levinsohn co-founded Whisper Advisors, a strategic advisory firm created to assist startups in media, e-commerce, technology and consumer products industries by providing access to industry knowledge from seasoned professionals. Levinsohn also served as the CEO of the LA Times and the digital arm of Tribune Publishing, where he saw firsthand how digital media trends are shaping the future of print publishing.
Willingness to Think Outside the Box
Ross Levinsohn recognized that media trends were guiding more people to digital platforms. His breadth of knowledge and years of experience enabled him to look forward to recognizing and implementing trends into his workspace. He advises others to remain patient in work and life and to not be afraid to try new approaches. Ross Levinsohn’s career has been defined by trying new things and has taken his own advice to heart, serving as an on-air contributor for CNBC. Then, in October of 2019, he leaped into the role of CEO of Sports Illustrated, the iconic media source acclaimed for covering aspects of sports.
In 2019, Maven purchased the rights to operate Sports Illustrated beginning in 2020, naming Levinsohn as CEO of both Maven and Sports Illustrated. Boasting more than 300 brands, Maven is a Seattle-based corporation specializing in media publisher brands. Dictated by successes across various industries, Maven uses shared publishing, distribution and monetization tools to streamline its properties, which now have more than 150 million subscribers and publishers. Sites like TheStreet, History.com and Maxim are all part of the Maven family, a force to be reckoned with in the digital arena.
Leading the Maven Empire
Levinsohn’s years of experience and successes have transformed him into not only an active investor in new digital businesses, but as a trusted advisor for more than 30 new companies. Levinsohn has the unique ability to glean company information and tailor it to best meet the target audience.
Under Levinsohn’s leadership, Maven continues to reach more than 150 million consumers every month. The global pandemic, combined with the growth in digital media, forced some brands to decrease free digital content to stay afloat. Levinsohn sees this time as a “transformative” and challenging opportunity to utilize “some of the best talent in our industry” to increase partnerships, decrease debt and pay for general business operations costs.
Implementing Guiding Principles for Future Growth
Always looking forward, Levinsohn has already partly restructured Sports Illustrated by expanding licensing of its branded materials and entering the gambling and e-sports arenas. Additionally, Sports Illustrated Studios will begin production of documentaries, films, podcasts and television programs to gain access to even more people worldwide.
Within this restructuring, the focus remains on four principles:
- Evaluating cost compared to product quality
- Targeting a specific audience with content
- Engaging readers with excellent content
- Developing a premium membership structure
According to Levinsohn, focusing on these four principles will allow a print publication to remain relevant and competitive in the digital publishing world. He describes his new position as a “unique opportunity to lead a technology and media company during a dynamic time of change in both spaces.”
It will be exciting to see just how far Ross Levinsohn takes Maven and Sports Illustrated.