Meeting of the Minds brings together two different points of view from an industry rookie and an experienced expert.
The Mediaweek series aims to showcase their diverse perspectives, thoughts and opinions.
This week’s Meeting of the Minds sees Ryan Hedditch and William Ryan from News Corp Australia reveal their leadership heroes, current streaming binge and career goals.
Ryan Hedditch – head of ad product and strategy
Best career advice – Stay humble. Always. Because humility is the secret sauce to success – it keeps you grounded as you step through your career.
My favourite podcast/read – Evan Shapiro and his substack channel – I love the way he very simply decodes the mysteries of the media’s landscape. He breaks down the current global chaos, noise and #fluff in the media industry; simple explainers and Star Wars analogies also help.
Current streaming binge – The Crown! Fully prepped for this month’s next chapter of regal drama – the anticipation is real!
Leadership hero – Sir Alex Ferguson – the maestro of leadership on and off the field. Taking notes from a legend!
I wish someone had told me – Careers are like roller coasters – full of twists, turns, highs, and lows. Embrace the squiggly journey, and enjoy the ride! Things have a way of working out.
Guilty content pleasure – Well, I have a soft spot for the thrill of stumbling upon barn find classic car discoveries on YouTube. The Late Brake Show with Johnny Smith is my go-to guilty pleasure. From late ’80s turbos to Lamborghinis hidden in the UK’s deepest countryside, it’s a treasure hunt for automotive gems. I can’t get enough of the rare finds, and Jonny’s genuine enthusiasm makes it a well-produced show worth binge-watching.”
Best training course/session – Kudos to the News Corp Australia’s Pacesetter event in Uluru! An amazing experience, learning from the industry’s finest and connecting with top sales talent nationwide. Our D_CODED event is also an amazing session for the market, but I would say that as my team curate the story.
Your mentor – I don’t have one, but I tend to focus on developing micro-mentors, not the formal stuff. Instead of sticking to one mentor or a strict program, I learn from all kinds of people, young and old with different experiences, some in real life and others from podcasts or videos. Different perspectives keep things fresh and teach me new stuff all the time. No stiff rules, just genuine connections. Life’s a journey, and I’ve found that having a mix of micro mentors helps me roll with the punches and stay on my game. If I have to name one today, it would be Pippa Leary, she reminds me every day to keep it simple.
Hot medium or show – My go-to hot medium is News Shorts; it’s our new video platform providing mobile first, vertical video stories. You can find it across all of our news and lifestyle sites. It’s been incredible seeing our journalists transform their storytelling to this new short form snackable content. It’s so easy to catch up on the hard news each morning from news.com.au or our mastheads, or if I need some dinner inspiration I’ll jump onto taste.com.au to get my latest air fryer hack!
Favourite media event – Mediaweek Australia’s Top 100 Power List – one day, I aim to make waves and be on that prestigious list!
Wish I’d done that – Invented the headless commerce technology behind our shoppable video, image and text products. Our partners Vudoo have been a phenomenal tech partner and innovator in the commerce space, it’s been a great experience working with them to realise this as a world first in digital publishing across our ad products.
Career goal for 2023 – As we get closer to the end of the year my goal now is to take some time to reflect on the year that was, and put some attention toward 2024 before it arrives. Our product team has grown a lot this year so taking some time out to reflect, celebrate and have some fun with everyone will be important before the end of the year, roll on the Christmas party!
William Ryan – commercial product director
Best career advice – “Solutions not problems” as an old director of mine used to say, has served me well in my career thus far. Forcing yourself not to complain about an issue, but instead put the time and effort into finding a solution is a valuable trick, and once learnt it’s incredible to notice how creative your problem solving ability becomes.
My favourite podcast/read – Anything written by Graham Hancock, America Before was a big standout. Not that I’m sure anything he claims is accurate as I’m not a historian but his books are a great read and he makes some compelling arguments. I think I also just like the thought that we don’t have it all figured out and there’s still some unsolved mystery out there.
Current streaming binge – Alone (Netflix), it shouldn’t be as compelling as it is; people living in solitude in the arctic for 100 days. Yet here I am, three seasons deep and still going strong.
Leadership hero – A potentially controversial choice in Elon Musk. His handling of X, taking on a struggling company was blunt but effective in making the hard call. The vision for Tesla was incredible, taking on a relatively new market concept (at launch) and pioneering the space – all whilst trying to land humans on mars.
I wish someone had told me – That a commitment to mistakes can be a commitment to growing. Particularly professionally I’ve learned more from my mistakes than my wins, and often mistakes indicate you’re out of your comfort zone.
Guilty content pleasure – Geordie Shore (original cast), the madness hooked me in.
Best training course/session – A presentation course (which I can’t remember the name of) which I took in my first year in media. Being forced as a coordinator to get up and present in front of seasoned professionals was a daunting experience but taught me some great tools I’ve used throughout my career.
Your mentor – I’ve been fairly lucky to have had a few mentors over the years in my career, previous sales directors have taught me the value of relationships, creative leads have taught me to think outside the box and managers have shown me how to lead (or not to lead in some cases).
Hot medium or show – Reddit, I spend far too long browsing shower thoughts or ‘am I the asshole’ as well as F1 threads.
Favourite media event – Media Hall of Fame in Melbourne has always been a fantastic day out with a great crowd.
Wish I’d done that – Machu Picchu, but plenty of time!
Career goal for 2023 – With 2023 nearing its end, my goal for 2024 is to be recognised by the industry for the work I’ve done with News Corp Australia over the past 3 years.
To take part in future editions of Meeting of the Minds please email: [email protected]
Top image: Meeting of the Minds – Ryan Hedditch and William Ryan