Katja Riefler, AIM Group Principal and Managing Director, has a broad background working with newspapers, trade associations and online services toshape media companies for the future. She is a trend scout based in Munich and travels regularly throughout her area of responsibility and frequently to the United States.
Expert throughout EMEA
Riefler joined the AIM Group in 2002, analyzing the changing nature of classified advertising throughout Europe. She became European Director in 2007. She was promoted to director of EMEA in 2011 and MD in 2015. She’s responsible for all client relationships in EMEA and heads a team of almost a dozen analysts she recruited. As an expert on digital developments with a background in news media, she still has close relations with the publishing industry worldwide.
Riefler helped found the first Internet organization owned by and for German newspapers, MBT Online KG, in 1996. It was a common venture of 18 Bavarian media houses. As the first executive at MBT Online, she helped build the business and oversaw development of Germany’s first common classified database among newspapers. When she left to start her own consulting business, MBT Online had expanded its shareholder base to 30 newspaper companies and had 20 employees.
Author: She has proved her trend-scouting talent and industry knowledge with several publications. Her book, “Zeitung Online: Neue Wege zu Lesern und Anzeigenkunden” (“Newspapers online: New ways to reach readers and advertisers”) was published in 1995 and the first book on newspapers and the Internet in German. She’s also the author of the world’s first report on digital editions of newspapers, published in January 2003. She has written several major reports on newspapers managing digital challenges.
WAN-IFRA, the world newspaper technology association, published her special reports in 2008 and 2009 about “Customer-Centric Communication” – advertising business strategies in the digital age. She wrote them together with Dr. Frank Meik. In 2009, BDZV published her report on hyperlocal newspaper strategies, as well as one on Google’s implications for newspaper’s digital strategies. In 2010 BDZV published her book on the opportunities and challenges of paid content services for news publishers. Riefler is a regular speaker at conferences, and contributor to several trade publications.
Riefler has a background in editorial and earned her first merits as a journalist at the daily newspaper Allgäuer Zeitung, a regional newspaper with a circulation of then 115,000. She holds degrees from Freie Universität of Berlin (Communication Science, lic. rer. publ.) and Ludwig Maximilians Universität of Munich (Political Science, Master, summa cum laude).
After finishing school in 1982 she worked five years as a reporter and editor for Allgäuer Zeitung. In the early 1990s, she coordinated “Project Recherchefeld Wissenschaft,” a scientific project of the Free University of Berlin aimed at increasing the cooperation between journalists and scientists in Germany in the field of public health. She also has worked as an editor of the journalism magazine “Drehscheibe,” in Bonn, and written and edited a handbook for journalists on elections in Germany.
Fun Facts about Katja
Literature lover that can talk hours analyzing novels and authors
Not a lover of sweets, but exceptionally good at preparing them for guests
Has decorated her living-room with an old motorbike