Project Canoe Officially Launched as Canoe Ventures

--David Verklin Appointed as New Venture's CEO

The contours of Project Canoe, the US cable industry's hitherto
secretive initiative to create a national unified platform for interactive
and addressable advertising, became a little clearer last week when the
MSO's behind the initiative announced the launch of a joint venture,
Canoe Ventures, and the appointment of advertising industry veteran,
David Verklin, as the new venture's CEO.
Verklin, who will join Canoe
Ventures on August 4th, will be tasked with leading its efforts to create
shared processes and standards for audience targeting, interactivity and
measurement in multiplatform advertising across cable systems
throughout the US. The new venture is based in New York City and
co-owned by Bright House, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox and
Time Warner Cable, which between them have contributed $150
million to get it off the ground (note: each company's ownership stake
in the venture is proportional to the amount of money it has
contributed). According to an interview with Verklin published in the
Wall Street Journal, the new venture will sell advertising to
programmers rather than, as originally expected, directly to advertisers
and their agencies (the Journal pointed out that the advantages of this
strategy are that the cable industry will not need to build a national
sales force and will not risk alienating its programmers; and that the
strategy's downside is that the industry will not generate as much
revenue as it might from a more direct approach). "We look forward to
working with someone of David's experience, intelligence, and stature,"
Comcast COO, Steve Burke, said in a prepared statement. "His
appointment as CEO of Canoe Ventures demonstrates our commitment
to working more closely with the advertising community and to
delivering products and services needed for advertisers and
programmers to compete in today's media landscape. David's insight
will help make cable a more valuable advertising medium." Added
Time Warner Cable COO, Landel Hobbs: "What we have developed as
the basis for this joint venture is a groundbreaking collaboration that
will unlock the potential of cable's competitive advantages and take
advertising to a new level. We are excited to have David, who has
always been viewed as a thought leader, sign on as CEO of Canoe
Ventures to lead this change."

Verklin was previously CEO of Aegis Media Americas, where he was
in charge of all Aegis Group's operations in the US, Latin America and
Canada, and served on the parent company's board. He currently also
sits on the boards of the American Advertising Federation, the Ad
Council, the Audit Bureau of Circulations and the New York Multiple
Sclerosis Society. He began his career at Young & Rubicam in New
York City and was also a co-founder of San Francisco-based
advertising agency, Hal Riney & Partners. Last year, he published a
book entitled "Watch This, Listen Up, Click Here." "Cable is in a
unique position to take advertising to another level--for marketers,
programmers and consumers," Verklin said in a prepared statement.
"As technology has evolved and consumers have been given greater
control over their viewing experience, we are all looking for innovative
solutions and greater accountability. Canoe Ventures and its goals were
informed by input from advertisers, networks and vendors to respond to
these needs, and I am excited to lead this effort and continue this
dialogue with our key stakeholders."