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The Jakarta Post Bleeds Purple as it Welcomes Ex-Yahoos Budi Putra and Jimmi Kembaren as CEO and CTO of JakPost Digital

Aulia Masna - 4 July 2012

The Jakarta Post's online arm has welcomed a new CEO and CTO this month. Former Yahoo country editor Budi Putra joins the newspaper as the CEO of The Jakarta Post Digital while fellow former Yahoo Jimmi Kembaren has been appointed as the company's new CTO. The two previously founded Peneroka together shortly after leaving Yahoo and currently still maintain it as an experimental entertainment, lifestyle, and reviews site.

In an interview with DailySocial, Budi Putra explained that his role at The Jakarta Post Digital (JakPost Digital) is to discover new directions and ways to grow the newspaper's digital business beyond simply driving traffic to the existing website.

When he was approached by The Jakarta Post, he offered to spin off the online division so there would be a team to fully explore the possibilities of being an online media outlet instead of just an additional way to distribute the content from the print edition.

With this proposal approved, JakPost Digital will be incorporated in the next several months as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Jakarta Post and as far as business direction is concerned, will operate independently.

The twist in this arrangement is that JakPost Digital will actually purchase content from the print edition instead of having them simply redistributed online as with most other publications. The plan right now is to build strong editorial teams based on content categories and develop them into their own content based sites for JakPost Digital outside of news.

"The question is how The Jakarta Post, which already has credible content, offer various kinds of products, that can proudly represent Indonesia Internationally," said Putra. "People overseas know The Jakarta Post. So far, The Jakarta Post has a website, a news site. There are other opportunities that can be explored to get people to read content produced by The Jakarta Post."

Asked about his role at Viki, he said that he's still a director at Viki and is still working on securing business deals for the Singapore-based on-demand video startup. He's comfortable explaining his dual role which he said should not pose immediate or direct conflict of interest.

"My passion is in content. I was at Yahoo, then Viki, and now The Jakarta Post. They're all content business. I am certain that no matter how advanced a distribution platform is, without content it will be difficult to build a business out of it."

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