Creative Circle names Scott Kingsley as COO
Another industry leader, Scott Kingsley has joined Creative Circle Media Solutions as Chief Operating Officer. He will focus on sustaining the company’s high level of customer service and will manage the increasing load of new web site launches.
Creative Circle’s web CMS is the fastest growing media software solution – increasing its client base about 25% per year for multiple years – as media outlets upgrade from Wordpress, Drupal, Town News, New Surf Media and other newspaper CMS vendors.
“We’re converting sites from Gannett and we’re seeing more groups and chains of papers moving to our web site software, so just keeping all those launches on track is a major undertaking,” said Bill Ostendorf, president and founder of Creative Circle. “We have historically been able to launch new sites quickly, but that has become more difficult with the volume we’re experiencing and we want to continue to have our launch process keep pace with sales.”
Scott comes to Creative Circle from the Houston Chronicle, where he was Director of Multimedia, overseeing photojournalism coverage, podcasts and video production. Prior to that he managed his own video and photo production company. He also worked with Ostendorf and other Creative Circle leaders as the visuals assignment editor of The Providence Journal.
“I previously worked with Bill and Lynn Rognsvoog, Creative Circle’s lead designer, for many years at The Providence Journal,” said Scott. “And it’s great to have an opportunity to work with them again. And I’m very excited about helping local newspaper publishers. Like everyone at Creative Circle, I want to see newspapers stay in the hands of local and family publishers. We want to do everything we can to help.”
As COO, he will also oversee customer support and the company’s facilities and equipment. “I’ve been really impressed with the depth and energy the team brings to customer service,” said Scott. “Everyone in the company helps with customer support every day – handling tickets, calls and working on longer term solutions.”
“Scott is knowledgeable and patient and is an excellent teacher and coach, so he fits right in with our culture of training and customer support,” said Ostendorf, who added that 92% of customer issues are resolved within 24 hours and that the team also fields more than 100 connections each week with users and subscribers as well. “Scott’s other job is to maintain and improve upon those high customer support standards.”
And the support team doesn’t just support media teams. Creative Circle deflects a percentage of all user inquiries to its support center so the staff stays connected to readers and users. “It reminds everyone here who we are working for, the readers and subscribers who support local media,” said Ostendorf.
“Scott also brings a lot of video and audio expertise to our leadership team at a time when we know those a priorities for our clients as well. He’ll be able to serve as a consultant, trainer and advisor for our clients who are exploring more video and podcast content and help us up our game in those areas as well,” said Ostendorf.
Creative Circle, founded in 1984, was originally a training firm leading thousands of workshops and training sessions for journalists all over the world. It is also a leading design firm, redesigning more than 750 print newspapers and magazines as well as more than 600 media web sites. Unlike most software firms, it provides consulting and training for its clients as part of its flat-rate hosting and support.
“We’re not just a hosting or software vendor,” said Ostendorf. “We understand and support print and we are content and revenue experts. Our relationships with our clients go much deeper than other software vendors. And we’re committed to helping locally owned, family owned and entrepreneur led media outlets thrive. That’s a passion around here. And Scott shares that passion.”
Scott’s addition is part of a significant staffing increase at Creative Circle. “We’re doubling our staffing in the second half of 2022 and launching a broad and aggressive R&D program to create new and better tools for community newspapers in 2023. Publishers have a lot of options and while most of them are not effective or affordable, we want to continue to make sure that our solutions keep up with everything happening in the industry. We want anyone who looks at our solutions to have no doubt that we are the best choice for local media,” said Ostendorf.
“A lot of people think the big players like Google or Facebook or WordPress are going to supply all the answers, but we believe a team of experienced journalists with a long history of success are better positioned to help local publishers succeed,” said Ostendorf. “We come to the table with a deep understanding of print and digital and what is involved in creating engaging content. If you don’t have engaging content and advertising and if both aren’t well designed and displayed, no other metrics matter.”
You can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.