Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
The Mamamia transition - In conversation with new CEO Nat Harvey and proprietor Jason Lavigne

The Mamamia transition - In conversation with new CEO Nat Harvey and proprietor Jason Lavigne

Welcome to an audio-led edition of Unmade. Today, as Mamamia’s new CEO Natalie Harvey steps up, she joins co-founder Jason Lavigne to discuss where the independent publisher goes from here. And further down in the post, the Unmade Index falls to a record low.

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Mamamia hits scale as Harvey takes the helm

Harvey: ‘A spark lit inside me’

For the best part of a decade, Natalie Harvey was one the best known faces of the business of TV advertising, rising to national sales director of Seven West Media. Earlier this year, she moved away from television to join Australia’s largest (depending how you measure it) independent publishing house, Mamamia.

This month Harvey stepped up from chief revenue officer to CEO. Jason Lavigne, who co-founded the business with his partner Mia Freedman more than 15 years ago, moves in to the new role of executive chairman.

In today’s podcast interview, Lavigne and Harvey discuss how the business has developed from a single blog to a 150-staff organisation with a powerful publishing platform, Australia’s eighth biggest podcast publisher (ahead of the likes of Nine and Nova) and a thriving agency, Squad, which includes clients beyond its advertising roster. Along with growing subscriber revenue, short form video is Mamamia’s latest development area.

During the conversation, Lavigne signals a route to the “highly profitable” company hitting revenues of $50m (it’s not there yet), and addresses the obvious question of whether his change of role is a prelude to an exit (he claims only 15% of his work is done).

Lavigne: ‘We’ve got an incredible flywheel’

Meanwhile, Harvey makes the point that her move to Mamamia was about her own development and not a vote against TV in which she remains “a staunch believer”

They also discuss how Mamamia has becoming increasingly purpose-driven, around its mission of making the world a better place for women and girls.

The company is also leaning into AI, including “Sam” its new artificial voice available to create and articulate scripts for brands featuring in its podcasts. The podcast features Sam in action.

Mamamia may be slightly less vulnerable than some publishers to the likely loss of traffic if Facebook is designated under the News Media Bargaining Code and removes news links from its platform. However, Lavigne concedes it will have an effect. During the conversation, he argues that the potential solution is for more effective taxation of platform revenue before the profits end up offshore.

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How we assessed Mamamia three years ago:

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Index slips by another 3%

The Unmade Index slipped to another record low on Wednesday, losing 2.77% to land on 506.2 points.

The fall in share prices was specific to the media and marketing sector, with the wider ASX All Ordinaries finishing almost flat yesterday.

Much of the weight on the index came from the biggest locally listed stock (excluding News Corp which is dual listed in the US and Australia) Nine, which slumped by nearly 4%.

Fellow TV company Seven West Media lost 2.4%, and Southern Cross Austereo lost more than 3%.

Today’s podcast was edited by our favourite people at Abe’s Audio.

Time to leave you to your Thursday. We’ll be back with more tomorrow. I’ll be keeping an eye on the ASX today. It’s tipped to open down. There’s a very real possibility that todayis the day where we hit the milsetone of The Unmade Index falling below 500 points, a loss of 50% sine it began. If so, I’ll be reflecting on that threshold.

Have a great day.


Tim Burrowes

Publisher - Unmade


Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Media and marketing news with all the in-depth analysis, insight and context you need.
Unmade offers industry news from an Australian perspective, from the founder of Mumbrella and the author of the best-selling book Media Unmade, Tim Burrowes