2016 – Heinz-Werner Nienstedt


Laudatory Speech by emma President Ulrike Rohn in Porto, Portugal, on June 3, 2016:


One of the highlights of our Gala Dinner and our annual conference is always the announcement of the recipient of the emma Award for Excellence. The emma award is given to someone who has served our field, and who has contributed importantly to the growth and development of it.

One of the honors that come with being the President of emma is the honor of announcing the recipient of the emma award, and I am very happy to be able to announce this year’s recipient.

Academics often have the reputation of living in their own bubbles, and working and doing research in their ivory towers, with little or no connection to real life. This is definitely not the case for our recipient. He originally came from the media industry, and he is one of the few professionals who have made a very successful transition to academia. He has brought a wealth of understanding of strategic and operational issues to the academia, and shares it freely with colleagues and students. As well as connecting the industry with academia, he also serves as a consultant for the media industry.

Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the European Media Management Association, I am happy to announce the 2016 recipient of the emma award:

Heinz-Werner Nienstedt

Heinz-Werner Nienstedt is Professor Emeritus for Media Management. For more than 13 years, he was the Chair of Media Management at the Department of Communication at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, until he retired last year.

After studying industrial engineering at the Technical University of Berlin he wrote his PhD thesis in econometrics, titled “A method for short-term forecasting – The integration of methods of time series analysis in an econometric model.”

For almost two decades after, he held various high-ranking positions in the media industry.

His first employer was Bertelsmann, the multinational media conglomerate with headquarters in Germany. Here, he started as the Head of Systems & Methods in corporate reporting and planning, and then became the Managing Director at Bertelsmann Software for digital business startups—in the 1980s. He himself was quoted (by UK magazine Campaign) as saying that, during this time, he launched a number of projects that were ten years ahead of their time.

Following his engagement with Bertelsmann, he joined the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, where he became the Head of Strategic Planning. Based in Germany, the Holtzbrink Publishing Group owns publishing houses worldwide.

He then went on to become CEO of the Handelsblatt Publishing Group, which, among others, owns the leading German language business newspaper. During his 11-year appointment with Handelsblatt, he oversaw the Group’s strategy and managed the Group’s participation in the fields of information service, TV and business publishing. During this time, he held various executive and non-executive board and committee positions in, for instance, The Wall Street Journal Europe in Brussels or n-tv in Germany. Furthermore, Heinz-Werner Nienstedt has been a member of the executive Committee of the European Business Press Federation.

When in 2002, he joined the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, after almost two decades of such high-rank positions in the industry, Heinz-Werner did not distance himself from the industry, but instead continued to share his knowledge and experience with industry players. Most notably, he has since then acted as a consultant to the media industry and as an advisor and coach to media companies and startups with his own company, N.I.C.E. media consult.

Heinz-Werner always keeps a finger on the pulse of current developments and is dedicated to the development and growth of young talent. At the Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator, he is a mentor and helps to support startups throughout their entrepreneurial journey. Furthermore, he is a member of the Board at Horizont-Stiftung. The Foundation’s goal is to support the education and development of young talent as well as research in the context of the communication, media, and advertising industries.

Interested in new ventures, Heinz-Werner was a former member of the Media Sector Advisory Board and Senior Consultant at Apax Partners, which is a private equity and venture capital firm with headquarters in London. Reflecting his diverse interests, Heinz Werner also acts as a so-called Business Angel or Investor for the leading boat rental platform Zizoo and the online wine store Vicampo.

Heinz-Werner is a member of the supervisory board at the Westdeutsche Zeitung publishing group, whose flagship newspaper is one of the largest regional daily newspapers in Germany. He is also a member of the Scientific Committee at the Think Tank at Deekeling Arndt Advisors, which is a strategic communications consultancy dedicated to helping to define, develop, deliver, and manage communication strategies for its diverse clients.

As if this wasn’t all enough already, for almost 30 years Heinz-Werner has been Chairman of the Advisory Board of his family-owned Nienstedt company, which supplies technology for the industrial frozen food processing industry. I heard that whenever you eat fish fingers anywhere in the world, there is an almost 90% chance that they have been produced on a Nienstedt machine.

Heinz-Werner has a very impressive—and I, personally, find very inspiring—biography. Throughout his career, he has kept pace with the times and current developments. He has shown a dedication to the media industry and to supporting the development of new trends and talents. Furthermore, his dedication to our academic field is visible in his extensive international list of publications over the last 30 years. What is more, he has been responsible for educating some of the best young scholars in our field as well as high-ranking decision-makers in the industry.

Heinz-Werner Nienstedt and emma go back a long way. In fact, Heinz-Werner has played a critical role in the development of the European Media Management Association as an effective European network. In 2005 and 2006, he was the President of emma at a time when our association was very young and when its pillars were being established. He is a frequent participator in emma’s events and is a highly regarded member of the community.

The German magazine Horizont named him the Media Man of the Year in 2000. The magazine Campaign, the UK equivalent of Horizont, wrote that the charismatic, then-CEO, of Handelsblatt was “as close as the German financial media gets to a celebrity.”

Today, it is time that we name him our emma Man of the Year. And I am certain that I speak for all of us in hoping that he will continue to be very active and engaged in his role as Professor Emeritus and remains part of our community for many, many years to come.

I am very honored to present the 2016 Award for Excellence of the European Media Management Association to Heinz-Werner Nienstedt.

Please join me in congratulating him.

Ulrike Rohn
emma President