BBC Worldwide’s Lonely Planet is hiring Dow Jones’ digital strategy and operations SVP Matthew Goldberg away to be its new CEO, replacing outgoing Judy Slatyer. Goldberg had led Wall Street Journal Digital Network business operations, including those for WSJ.com, MarketWatch, Barrons.com and AllThingsDigital.com. When he starts with the travel brand in March, he will be charged with maintaining Lonely Planet’s core printed travel guides business and optimising digital and multiplatform opportunities. Goldberg took the DJ digital SVP role in February 2008 after five years with the company, reporting to digital network president Gordon McLeod. The move to Melbourne, Australia-based Lonely Planet sees Goldberg return to a city where he studied in 1996.
BBC Worldwide bought 75 percent of the publisher in October 2007, in a deal that ruffled the feathers of independent rivals like Time Out, for £89.9 million
for what FT.com reported to be “in the region of £100 million” but which we understand was much less. The broadcaster has made few statements about its intentions for Lonely Planet, but it’s likely it will form the basis of the travel portal in its strategy to launch 15 “passion sites” (Top Gear is being leveraged for motoring, Gardener’s World for green fingers). The Lonely Planet website relaunched in November and will offer content from its database of hundreds of city destinations via an API and via formal syndication relationships.