Reiner Mittelbach, who died unexpectedly last week, will be remembered for providing the newspaper industry with guidance and leadership in an era of digital transformation, the Institute for Media Strategies said in a statement on Monday.
“Reiner was a steady voice whose confidence in the digital future of newspapers never waivered, and he provided exceptional leadership during an the industry’s often chaotic transformation,” said Dietmar Schantin, Founder and Director of the Institute for Media Strategies and a long-time colleague and friend of Mr Mittelbach. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. He will be missed.” Sarah Schantin-Williams, Co-founder of the Institute added.
Mr Mittelbach was Chief Executive Officer of Germany-based IFRA, a global news publishing and research organization, when it merged in 2009 with the World Association of Newspapers. He guided WAN-IFRA as Co-Chief Executive Officer before leaving in 2010.
He was well known for greatly expanding research activities on the future of the news business while at IFRA, which he joined in 2001.
Mr Mittelbach was most recently Chief Executive Officer of Rewardisement Ltd, a media engagement company established in 2012 that focuses on increasing user engagement across print, web, social networks and mobile. He was also a board member of KnowledgeView in the UK and NewsSocial Ltd. and led his own advisory and management consultancy.
“Reiner has many friends throughout the news publishing world, who were touched by his kindness and generosity,” said Dr. Schantin. “He will be remembered for this as much as for his substantial contributions to the news business. He laid down, in many ways, the foundation for the work of the Institute. We will be always deeply grateful to him and his friendship and sincerity will be sorely missed.”