World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Tribute to Stig Nordqvist

Tribute to Stig Nordqvist

Article ID:

18278

Dr. Stig Nordqvist, who presided over WAN-IFRA’s digital media and business development activities since 2003 and championed numerous digital and mobile industry initiatives throughout his career, died 8 October at a hospital near his home in Helsingborg, Sweden. He was 49.

Stig launched WAN-IFRA's Executive Programmes initiative, such as eNews and eRev, whereby like-minded media executives and companies explored new business developments and models in emerging media.

Stig had been battling lung cancer for more than a year. He is survived by his wife and three children. Memorial services will be held on 31 October in Helsingborg.

“In the past two weeks, we have received messages from all over the world with condolences to our dear friend and colleague Stig, his family and our team,” said WAN-IFRA CEO Vincent Peyrègne. “Our thoughts are with his family. He will be missed dearly. We are greatly indebted to Stig for his incredible influence and impact on our association and the industry. I personally owe a lot to Stig for his beneficial influence on my personal and professional life. He leaves us with only good memories. May he rest in peace and be in our hearts forever.”

Digital Media Europe 2012: Enjoying a moment with (left) Arthur Sulzberger Jr., New York Times Co. chairman, and (right) Kalle Jungkvist, WAN-IFRA associate principal consultant.Digital Media Europe 2012: Enjoying a moment with (left) Arthur Sulzberger Jr., New York Times Co. chairman, and (right) Kalle Jungkvist, WAN-IFRA associate principal consultant.With nearly 25 years’ experience working in international media, much of it focused on digital media research, strategic consulting, and business development, Stig was a visionary.

Indeed, he was ahead of the curve on all things digital, especially mobile, as he continuously explored the impact and viability of emerging technologies and their potential business models on publishers. A much sought-after speaker, Stig shared his vision, know-how and practical experience at conferences, seminars and workshops all over the world.

“Stig was by far one of the most knowledgeable people in the field of digital media that I have ever met,” said Phillip Sugai, Professor of Marketing at Doshisha University in Japan. “He was incredibly up to date on the current trends, both in academic research and business innovation. Speaking with him always sparked new ideas for my own research. It was a pleasure to have known and worked with him.”

“He was such a lovely guy, incredibly curious and super bright and well-intended, and I know how much the WAN-IFRA community appreciated him,” said Gil Fuchsberg, Executive Vice President of Digital Media at News Corp. “He really helped light the digital trail for so many analog executives and companies, illuminating a fascinating future that he so clearly and confidently saw years ahead of most everyone else. I always enjoyed our chats and the times we spent together, and only hope I was able to be helpful to him.”

eNews meeting in Singapore 2012eNews meeting in Singapore 2012SoMoNews meeting in San Francisco 2013 visiting LinkedInSoMoNews meeting in San Francisco 2013 visiting LinkedInAmong his numerous contributions and initiatives, he founded WAN-IFRA’s Executive Programmes, such as eNews, eRev and SoMoNews, all focused on bringing together like-minded visionary publishers, executives and experts to help pave the way for future publishing platforms and models.

Stig also kick-started international events focused on mobile and tablet technologies and strategies as early as 2002, with what was then called Mobile Media Day, already recognising the importance of this emerging ecosystem.

eNews meeting in Berlin visiting Bild newsroom 2012eNews meeting in Berlin visiting Bild newsroom 2012

“I remember Stig at one of the last conferences that he moderated, the Digital Round Table in Bangkok [World Newspaper Congress 2013],” said Gunnar Springfeldt, media consultant and former VP of Development for Stampen Media Group in Sweden. “The focus was mobile and Stig told the audience to focus all digital development on mobile. That was very courageous advice to a rather conservative industry, I think. This year, mobile is the most important digital channel for most newspapers.

“I miss Stig very much personally, but I know that the industry is missing him as well. I know that his insight was crucial also to the few newspapers that seem to be doing well in the digital world.” (See Gunnar’s full tribute below.)

Talking with Elsie Cheung of the South China Morning Post during eRev meeting in Hong Kong 2011Talking with Elsie Cheung of the South China Morning Post during eRev meeting in Hong Kong 2011Lawrence “Lars” Cosh-Ishii, Director of Mobikyo in Tokyo: “It's been my honour and pleasure to work with Stig on several research and event projects, both in Japan and overseas, over the years. He was a straight shooter and the sharpest player I've ever dealt with in the emerging digital media space.”

Although Stig officially started working with then-IFRA in 2003, prior to the merger of WAN and IFRA in 2009, he worked closely with the association for many years in his capacity as Director of Digital Media at the Swedish Newspaper Publishers Association.

Before joining the Swedish association, he served as Chief Information Officer for the Stampen Group, publisher of Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden’s largest regional newspaper.  Prior to that, he was one of the founding partners of Media Workflow Management (MWM), which is still a thriving international supplier and consulting group based in Sweden.

Stig held a PhD in Media Management from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, where he also earned a Master of Science in Engineering, Media. He also held an executive degree from Harvard University’s Distance Education program.

Recently, Stig described WAN-IFRA as “fun, rewarding, the finest org to work for, in my opinion.” He left a lasting footprint on WAN-IFRA and this industry. We will continue to share his vision and honour his memory.

Time out for Karaoke while in Tokyo 2009Time out for Karaoke while in Tokyo 2009 

Full tribute from Gunnar Springfeldt:

Personally, I have very fond memories of Stig, above all during the end of the ‘90s when he earned the first PhD ever in Sweden in the research area of media technology. At that time, I remember traveling to Stockholm and sitting with him at his kitchen table, convincing him to move to Gothenburg and become the new IT director at Göteborgs-Posten (later Stampen). He did a fantastic job bringing structure and ‘order’ to a growing and increasingly important department. Through his open and engaging personality and position in the company management, he definitely raised the status of GP’s IT department substantially.

After a couple of years, he moved back to Stockholm and entered the position of Technical Director of TU (the Swedish Newspaper Publishers Association). He did many good things for the Swedish newspaper members, but what I most easily recall is his engagement in the new screen technology (eInk) which gave Swedish newspapers a good chance to discover a new technology. This was, of course, many years before the iPad.

When he moved on to IFRA I was really proud of him. His eNews and eRev programmes were at a world-class quality level and he could do for the global newspaper community what he had done for the Swedish community.

I remember Stig during one of the last conferences that he moderated, the Digital Round Table in Bangkok (World Newspaper Congress). The focus was mobile, and Stig told the audience to focus all digital development on mobile. That was very courageous advice to a rather conservative industry, I think. This year, mobile is the most important digital channel for most newspapers. I miss Stig very much personally, but I know that the industry is missing him as well. I know that his insight was crucial also to the few newspapers that seem to be doing well in the digital world.

Author

Dean Roper's picture

Dean Roper

Date

2014-10-30 12:07

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