Media Lifeline: Stevie Spring

From adland to magazine publishing via TV and outdoor, Stevie Spring turns her hand to anything.

1994: Having begun her ad agency career (she'd previously been at TV-am after having decided it might be unwise to follow her earliest instincts, which were to become a PE teacher) at Grey International, Stevie Spring makes great headway at GGT (becoming the deputy managing director) and Woollams Moira Gaskin O'Malley (managing director), before landing a plum role as the managing director at Young & Rubicam Advertising.

2000: But when Y&R is joined with the creative hotshop Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, Spring moves on. She becomes the UK chief executive of the outdoor contractor Clear Channel International, where she's tasked with bringing a bit of glitz to a stodgy business.

2006: And she does just that, helping to drag outdoor kicking and screaming into the UK media market's mainstream. But a restructure at Clear Channel removes much of her autonomy, rendering her position untenable. She amazes the market with her next move - electing to become the chief executive of Future Publishing, a magazine group whose stable includes Metal Hammer, headquartered in unglamorous Bath.

2008: She'd joined at a difficult period in 2006, with profits warnings already flying thick and fast. But any doubts about her ability, stamina and commitment are laid to rest when she turns the company's fortunes around, despite the gathering "credit crunch" storm clouds. In its annual results, Future reveals increases in circulations and ad revenues, notably in online - its specialist titles helping it to buck trends in the rest of the magazine market.

2010: Future fails to pull off the same trick in 2009 and its US division is hard hit. In its results, Spring points out a return to US profitability. Now, it's the UK that's giving cause for concern. Spring is bullish, announcing the launch of Tap, a title focusing on apps.

Fast forward ...

2012: But with Future's platform-agnostic philosophy fully realised, Spring decides it's time to move on. She'd always been vocal about what could and should be expected from the internet - and she'd long been a Labour Party supporter. Now she gets the chance to combine the two, when she's asked to head up a Digital Task Force, created by the new Culture Minister, Gloria De Piero, following a snap General Election.


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