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The Bill Murray Award for Outstanding Contribution to Digital Publishing

Published: 29 Mar 2023

The Association of Online Publishers [AOP] is announcing a new Award as part of the annual Digital Publishing Awards. In partnership with UKOM and with the support of Haymarket Media Group, this new AOP Award will honour the memory of Bill Murray, who passed away suddenly in February 2023.

Bill Murray was the founding Chairman of the AOP in 2002 and served as Board Chair until 2009, ensuring that this organisation was established as a collective voice for online publishers of quality content.

Richard Reeves, Managing Director of the AOP, says of Bill, “Whilst a thorough professional, setting standards that many will continue to aspire to emulate, Bill encapsulated everything that is good about our industry; he was kind, supportive, a team player and, simply, very good company.

Many of us have much to thank Bill for, professionally, for his dedication and commitment to our industry – notable achievements include the creation of UKOM and AOP - and on a more personal level, he was a friend, mentor and voice of reason to so many. Bill’s premature passing will have a lasting impact on us all, and the industry that he so admirably served. He leaves a legacy that will be impossible to match, we will forever be indebted to him, for his dedication to our strange and dysfunctional world and, for the immeasurable impact he had on us all.”

Bill was also a founder Director of UKOM in 2009 and was on the Commercial Board until his passing, playing a pivotal role in the establishment of a UK industry standard for online audience measurement – an achievement of which he said he was the most proud.

Ian Dowds, CEO of UKOM said of Bill and the Award, “UKOM is proud to join forces with AOP on this award to honour the memory of Bill Murray, to whom we all owe a huge debt of gratitude. Not only did Bill have a huge impact on both of our organisations, he worked with dedication, integrity and with much good humour, over many years, for the greater good of the online publishing industry. The winner of this award will know that they are being recognised by the industry for their sustained effort demonstrating similar qualities, and can know that Bill would have been proud to raise a glass with them.”

Bill’s long career in digital publishing began at Haymarket Media Group in 1986, where he made a significant impact not only on the growth of that business but also on the many people who worked alongside and for him during that time.

Kevin Costello, CEO of Haymarket Publishing said, “We are proud to sponsor this prestigious Award, in recognition of Bill and his immense contribution to both the industry and Haymarket, during his 23 year career with us."

The Bill Murray Award for Outstanding Contribution to Digital Publishing will be awarded to an individual who has followed in Bill’s steps through their commitment to making a positive difference within the digital publishing sector. Nominated and chosen by the respective Boards and leadership teams of the AOP and UKOM, the AOP look forward to announcing the first winner of this Award at the AOP Digital Publishing Awards dinner on Wednesday 14th June, at Old Billingsgate in London. This Award will become an annual feature of the AOP Awards, the industry’s celebration of the individuals, teams, and brands that continue to drive the success of the digital publishing sector.