Neil Budde joins the Philadelphia Public Interest Information Network as founding CEO after 35 years working for newspapers, online publishers, and media technology companies, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Yahoo and DailyMe.He most recently was president and chief product officer of personalized news provider DailyMe, which was acquired last year by ePals. Budde had been at DailyMe since March 2008.
At DailyMe, Budde helped build the Newstogram platform for personalization of news content and scaled its network of affiliated sites to about 300. Its ad network is now among the top 100 ad networks, reaching more than 11 million monthly uniques and delivering more than 75 million ad impressions.
Budde joined Yahoo! News in November 2004 as general manager and helped build the site into the No. 1 news site on the Internet. He led the team that completed a major redesign of the site and that produced the company’s first original multimedia news offering: Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone, for which Sites was honored with the 2006 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism. He was elected to the board of the Online News Association in October 2005 and became its treasurer in January 2007.
Previously, Budde was the founding editor and publisher of The Wall Street Journal Online, the largest paid news site on the Internet with nearly 700,000 subscribers at the time he left. His pioneering work on WSJ.com began in early 1993 when he started formulating the original ideas for an online version of The Wall Street Journal. His self-built Visual Basic prototypes of an online Journal soon found wide favor within Dow Jones and he was asked to form a small team to create an online Journal in late 1993. After a year spent working on a proprietary approach to delivering the product he had envisioned, Budde and his team recognized that the Internet offered a better technology platform for achieving their goals. Work switched to the Internet in early 1995, and the team launched its first site – Money & Investing Update – in July of that year. In April 1996, the team rolled out the full Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition and stunned many observers by announcing that it would soon begin charging for access to the site. It stuck with that business model through the Internet bubble and steadily grew the subscriber base as well as advertising revenue, achieving a cash-flow-positive status in late 2002.
From the inception of WSJ.com, Budde directed the design, development and evolution of the product and its free companion sites on careers, real estate and other vertical categories. In January 2000, he added the title of publisher and assumed responsibility for all finance, advertising sales, marketing and business development in addition to his prior duties as head of news, design, development and technical operations on a global basis.Prior to his appointment as founding editor of the online Journal, Budde was deputy editorial director for Dow Jones News/Retrieval, where he oversaw design and development of new information services, including early natural-language searching features.Budde’s career began with a decade of experience as an editor and reporter at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., USA Today and The Richmond Times-Dispatch. His positions have included assistant business editor, associate editor of the Sunday magazine, copy editor and business reporter.
Budde earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky., and an MBA from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.
In 2005, Budde was one of three inductees into the Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni, and in 2010 he was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.
In 2002, Budde was named one of four finalists for the World Technology Awards in the category of Media and Journalism. In 1998, he was named Business Journalist of the Year by TJFR (a newsletter covering business journalism). Forbes ASAP highlighted Budde’s work in its August 1998 issue on “America’s Best Technology Users.”
While an avid golfer with one hole-in-one to his credit (Jan. 1, 2003), Budde’s handicap hovers around 20. He also enjoys tennis, skiing and photography.