Media: Lifeline - Emap digital

A renewed focus on the digital arena reflects deeper, underlying changes.

1999: Emap's various media assets have been furiously launching individual websites since the middle of the decade. More than 90 sites produce revenues of £7.8 million for the first six months of 1999 and the company now decides to house them in a new umbrella division called Emap Digital, headed by the Emap finance director, David Grigson.

2000: In a move reflecting Emap's commitment to the web, Paul Keenan (pictured), the boss of Emap Elan Network, becomes the chief executive of Emap Digital. The division takes a role in developing and managing Emap's business-to-business and consumer websites.

2001: Following the dotcom crash, Emap closes sites, lays off 100 staff and then decides to redistribute digital duties (including profit and loss responsibilities and budget management) back to their parent magazine and radio station brands. The company says site content may actually improve over the short term, but Emap Digital sources bemoan the loss of strategic vision.

2005: Emap Performance, the division overseeing all of the company's radio stations and music magazines, had taken up the slack as Emap Digital was phased out. Now the radio brands are hived off into their own division and the music magazines are integrated with Emap's other consumer titles - so, by default, Performance acquires a greater focus on all things digital.

2006: Emap Performance, led by Dharmash Mistry (pictured), is relaunched to refocus Emap's consumer media strategies in the digital domain. A "hybrid" approach means Performance takes a lead, while leaving everyday tasks to individual radio stations and magazines.

Fast forward ...

2010: As the company begins to reduce emphasis on print formats, it announces a major strategic review of the role of Emap Performance. After a massive brainstorming session, it decides it needs to be renamed and comes up with a startlingly simple solution. From now on, it will be called Emap. All other existing divisions now become subsidiaries of this main brand.