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Jim Friedlich

Institute for Journalism in New Media
Jim Friedlich co-founded Empirical Media in 2011 and serves as its CEO. Jim is a highly experienced media operating and investment executive, with a background in private equity, venture capital, and both traditional and digital media. Jim leads client engagements for news organizations, both traditional and native digital, focusing on the creation of successful business models for great journalism.

From 1990 to 2000, Jim managed the global advertising sales, consumer marketing and business development of a large and diverse group of Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones & Company newspapers, magazines, web sites, cable TV channels and conferences. He served on the Board of Directors of CNBC International, as well as the boards of joint ventures with Nikkei, Handlesblatt, and the Financial Times.

In 2001, Jim co-founded ZelnickMedia, a New York-based private equity investment firm focused on media and telecom. From 2001-2010, Jim led the firm’s investment in publishing and information services. He was integrally involved in the acquisition and management of Time Life, Take-Two Interactive, Alloy Media, and ITN Networks.

From 2005-2013, Jim served as Executive Chairman of Naylor LLC, the leading business-to-business publisher for trade associations throughout North America, a ZelnickMedia portfolio company.

Jim has been active as an early-stage investor in digital content, news and advertising technology, often co-investing with former Wall Street Journal executives Gordon Crovitz and Craig Forman. The group has invested in Business Insider with Kevin Ryan and Jeff Bezos; Nuzzel with Andreesen Horowitz; Poncho with Betaworks, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Comcast, and RRE Ventures; Watchup with Tribune Media; and Skift with Lerer Hippeau Ventures.

Jim attended Dartmouth College, is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a BA in English, and received his MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He serves on the Board of Directors of Dice Holdings (NYSE), WFMU public radio, The Door and University Settlement, and the Bard College Center for Civic Engagement.

Jim and his wife, Melissa Stern, a studio artist, have homes in Philadelphia and New York City.