Jay Small is a digital media and marketing executive geared for customer-centered innovation and business growth.
Small is president of Cordillera Digital, a division of Evening Post Industries that oversees interactive strategy and operations for Cordillera TV stations nationwide. The company’s online properties include LEX18.com in Lexington, Ky., and KVOA.com in Tucson, Ariz. He also serves as Chief Operating Officer of Clear Night, which is EPI’s marketing services division, based in Minneapolis.
With 33 years in media and 23 years in digital leadership, Small previously held senior posts at The E.W. Scripps Co., Belo Corp., Thomson Consumer Electronics, The Indianapolis Star and Evantage Consulting. He has also served as an independent interactive strategy consultant, with clients including the American Press Institute, Newspaper Association of America, The National Post of Canada, The Santa Fe New Mexican, a global pharmaceuticals company and a regional financial institution.
Small earned an MBA from Kennesaw State University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Executive management and leadership; digital innovation, marketing and business strategy; product development; user experience; media and information design; writing, creative direction, consultation, presentations, teaching and training.
Jay Small has succeeded as a digital business strategist, product innovator, information designer, marketer, consultant, writer and editor. He brings distinct capabilities and specialties to his professional work, including comprehensive Web site user interface design, business strategy development, search optimization and training.
His “pro” career began in 1985, but Small started learning about media much earlier — growing up in the third generation of a family of small-town newspaper executives.
Small started as a copy editor and designer at The Sun/The Daily Herald of Biloxi, Miss., in 1985. In six months, he was promoted to copy desk chief. Small then moved to The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Ind., as a designer. By 1987, he was promoted to design editor, and led a redesign of that newspaper in early 1988.
Later that year, Small moved to Denver as a page designer at the Rocky Mountain News. In three years, he reorganized and managed imaging operations, executed a redesign of the newspaper, and was promoted to art director.
In 1991, Small became art director at The Indianapolis Star, where he reorganized the design operations and redesigned the paper. That project won an Award of Excellence from the Society for News Design, first ever for the paper. He also joined the SND board of directors during this tenure.
In 1995, Small took on the challenge of developing interactive media services and businesses for Indianapolis Newspapers, Inc. As general manager of online services, he built the interactive team and managed development of StarNews.com (now IndyStar.com), the newspaper’s main site; SpeedNet, a leading auto racing news site; Indiana’s Game, a basketball news service; Colts Central, covering Indiana’s NFL team; and CircleCity.com, an Indianapolis city guide.
During that time, he participated in and then directed development of WorkAvenue.com, an employer/jobseeker matching service designed to complement newspapers’ classified ads. WorkAvenue came about from a consortium of six media companies; at its peak, seven large papers operated the service profitably.
Small took a breather from local media in 1999 to develop a consulting practice in Internet business strategy, tools and methods, as part of Evantage Consulting of Minneapolis. In 2000, he joined Thomson Multimedia, at the time the maker of RCA-brand consumer electronics products, as manager of digital media services. His team was charged with developing consumer service business opportunities and partnerships for digital media devices. Small’s team focused on development of server solutions, audience analytics, digital publishing, audio, video and imaging services — including innovative work with early e-book reading devices.
In 2001, Small joined Belo Interactive as regional director of news and operations. He led Internet teams at Belo sites in eight metropolitan markets. He reengineered site architectures and designs for all 18 Belo news sites in 2003. That year, BI promoted him to director of product development, responsible for strategic product innovation across the enterprise. He led projects to rebuild GuideLive.com and build QuickDFW.com in Dallas and Quick6.com in Phoenix.
Small joined Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group in 2005, and took on progressive executive responsibilities there throughout his tenure, ending in late 2009. The work of Small’s teams at Scripps is evident in sites such as KnoxNews.com, TCPalm.com and Redding.com.
Small served from 2014-2016 on the executive committee of the Local Media Consortium. He also served on the board of directors of the Online Publishers Association. He served on the board of directors and audience development committee for the Digital Media Federation, Newspaper Association of America. He also participated on the program advisory board for the Digital Arts and Design curriculum at Full Sail University, Orlando, Fla. He was an officer of the Society for News Design. And he served as adjunct faculty in the journalism and visual arts programs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.