PROFILE: Shaping sound - Rebecca Miskin, Chief executive officer, Ministry of Sound Media

If it is possible for one person to represent the Ministry of Sound's current brand values, the new chief executive of its media division, Rebecca Miskin, must come close.

Like her employer, she is past the days when clubbing was a priority, and maturity has brought confidence, professionalism and an acute sense of the bottom line. Yet at 36 she is still young and feisty enough to understand what makes the Ministry's core audience - 18 -to 24-year-olds - tick, an asset that will undoubtedly stand her in good stead in the months ahead.

Miskin is to play a vital role in sculpting the MoS in the future. Its transformation from the UK's most famous nightclub to the country's biggest independent music company is complete, and Miskin has been brought in to spearhead the next phase. "My job is to replicate the success we have achieved in the music industry, in media."

A glance at her CV makes it easy to see why the MoS snapped her up for the job. After Reed Elsevier, she soon became the first publisher at IPC who hadn't ascended from the ranks. She launched dozens of European editions of IPC titles, set up its content and licensing group, and later ran IPC Electric, its digital arm.

By the time she joined Excite UK as general manager, net-based enterprises were already under attack, but that didn't bother Miskin. "Often it is an interesting place to be if you are not in vogue."

But she jumps spiritedly to the defence of her new employer at the suggestion that MoS is unfashionable now. "The New Year's Eve party in the Dome was the biggest party ever. We prove time and again that when we create the right event or trend, the youth turns up."

It's this confidence in the Ministry's knowledge of what turns youth on that will form the core of its media strategy in the future. While the company already operates a digital radio station, Ministry magazine and a web site, radio will form the cornerstone of its future media empire, and 15- to 24-year-olds are the fastest growing group of radio listeners in the country.

Ministry of Sound Radio, the existing digital station, is the sixth most listened-to station on the web, in the world. Programme content is already syndicated to 60 radio stations in 35 countries. The firm's first radio sub-brand, Spin FM, is launching in Dublin in a few weeks, and it has applied for the new East Midlands analogue licence, under the new brand Play 106.6.

Miskin describes ministryofsound.com as "a great site, pioneering in terms of downloading and interactivity", but reckons it can be improved, with the ability to offer user-friendly, music-making software a key asset.

She doesn't think any of the existing media web sites have got their offering right, believing that technology companies don't understand the medium and the media companies that own many of the biggest sites haven't yet grasped how best to use the technology.

Miskin has her own vision of what will work online. "Web sites should save people time. They need to offer things that newspapers can't, like the ability to download games and music. At the moment, media companies are too busy trying to protect their offline assets to do it well. They are still trying to be all things to all people instead of finding a niche market and targeting it."

Though an old hand at delivering online content, Miskin admits she has no real experience in radio. But her publishing, brand-building and online skills will, she believes, stand her in good stead. MoS' growth in radio was boosted by the appointment last year of Virgin Radio founder David Campbell, who resigned from his position as MoS vice-chairman last week.

And while radio will be the mainstay, Miskin will also examine options for TV, probably in partnership with broadcasters or production companies.

"I've been given two months to come up with my vision for media. I am not a marketer, I am a shaper. I thrive on the business side of a creative environment."

And she produces results, according to Julie York, director of corporate communications at IPC. "Rebecca has a dynamism that is infectious, and if she's going after something she'll damn well get it."

At the same time she was offered the MoS job, Miskin also considered an offer of a post "one step from the board of a very corporate plc", but two things dissuaded her. First, it would have meant a return to international travel. "I've had enough of coming home to dead plants and an empty fridge,

she says. Second, she was drawn to Mos' maverick culture.

"I like the fact it's in Elephant and Castle, that the offices aren't all media-ed up, and that I don't have to wear a suit. It's just a bit left-flank. You go in and the radio station's blaring, and everyone is just so real, they all live the life and live the brand."

The MoS posted profits last year of £20m, and last summer received a £20m injection of funds from venture capital company 3i. So, significant acquisitions are likely.

Miskin says: "The chairman is a banker, and 3i did not invest that much money to sit back and watch it grow organically. It wants to see a step-change in the whole business. But if that's your foundation and you have that backing, the world is your oyster."

Become a member of Campaign from just £51 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content