The Table Stakes Europe programme teaches change management skills to people working in news organisations. Participants in Table Stakes undertake specific — and significant — change management initiatives, including diversifying their revenue streams, embracing new digital platforms and expanding the audiences they serve.

Each publisher participating in this new edition of Table Stakes Europe has appointed multidisciplinary teams that will embark on a 12-month programme, designed to address a self-identified challenge facing their business.

In the latest edition, publishers identified over 25 different audience groups, ranging from families and teachers to sports fans and foodies. Once identified, they began creating a variety of products for each audience. Nordkurier, for example, found great success with their Heimweh newsletter, targeting emigrants who were still connected to the area, and after less than a year from its launch, has over 4,200 subscribers. Likewise, NWZ created a newsletter for families that was launched in June, which now has over 3,000 subscribers and serves as a driver for digital subscriptions on their website.

The audienceS-first methodology behind Table Stakes can be applied to any publisher, regardless of their market size, subscription model, or current digital transformation stage. We have documented the journeys of many of the participating publishers, including the report on the first edition of Table Stakes Europe, and now the newly released report on teams from the latest round. You can find both reports here.

Many accelerators do a good job of conveying techniques to drive funnel results. Table Stakes Europe, in contrast, has a much deeper, more profound — and crucially, more sustainable impact on participating companies. All of this is empirically supported: publishers who have participated in Table Stakes as well as other programmes have consistently outperformed others who have not done Table Stakes in those other programmes. Techniques do not transform enterprises. Table Stakes Europe does that.” said Vincent Peyrègne, CEO , WAN-IFRA.

Table Stakes Europe is supported by the Google News Initiative Digital Growth Programme. Table Stakes architect Doug Smith will lead the programme, alongside a team of five expert coaches including Valérie Arnould, Alexandra Borchardt, Pepe Cerezo, Lyndsey Jones and Stéphane Mayoux. Specialist advisors and fellow publishers from around the globe will also join throughout the programme to help guide the teams through their challenges.

We want to continue supporting publishers of all sizes in building a sustainable future, especially around growing their reader revenue. The Table stakes program puts the focus on audiences, which anchor the organisation on the reader, helping them create a differentiated experience. WAN IFRA’s audiences-first methodologies have been transformational for many European publishers and we’re thrilled to see the program continue to grow. ” commented Camila Samilian, Program Manager, News & Publishing Partnerships, Google News Initaitive.

News organisations participating in Table Stakes Europe 2021/22

Russmedia Verlag GmbH

Czech News Center
Economia –  Aktuálně.cz

La Voix du Nord

Braunschweiger Zeitung
Digitalhaus Franken
Fuldaer Zeitung
Funke Thüringen
Rheinische Post
Schwäbisches Tagblatt
Zeitungsverlag Neue Westfälische
Zeitungsverlag Waiblingen

L’Arena – Gruppo Editoriale Athesis

Nederlands Dagblad

Biuro Reklamy Mediów Lokalnych


Diari de Tarragona
El Periódico
La Voz de Almería

NWT Media

La Tribune de Genève

The Conversation
Reach plc

Contacts and Inquiries

For more information, interviews or to make contact with participants, please contact Valérie Arnould, Deputy Director Digital Revenue Network

ABOUT TABLES STAKES EUROPE Table Stakes Europe is a WAN-IFRA programme in partnership with the Google News Initiative Digital Growth Programme. A transformation and coaching programme for regional and local news publishers, Table Stakes Europe uses a challenge-centric, performance-and-accountability change methodology to identify and then close shortfalls against seven core performance challenges, the “Table Stakes”. The so-called ‘table stakes’ is an expression for the money needed to have a seat at the table in a poker game. The Programme builds upon the successful track record of an initiative designed and led by Doug Smith since 2015. In the United States, “Table Stakes” is a project of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative. In its third year in Europe, the programme will provide an opportunity for twenty-four local and regional news enterprises to identify and make significant progress in addressing their biggest current challenges.

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