DTV Media Planning Company, Leap Media, Names Tim Hanlon, Barry S. Fischer to Advisory Board

--New Hires Round-Up: Move Networks, Sinclair Broadcast Group, BBC

Digital TV media planning and implementation services company, Leap Media Group, has named Tim Hanlon and Barry S. Fischer as the first members of its Board of Advisors. According to the company, the board will be comprised of "leaders from the sales and agency sides of television and interactive media," and will provide strategic advice and guidance on market opportunities.

Hanlon, a well-known figure in US interactive TV circles, who is currently managing director of Chicago-based new media strategic investment and advisory firm, Riverview Lane Associates, was previously EVP and managing director of VivaKi Ventures, the strategic partnership and investment arm of Publicis Groupe-owned VivaKi, where he was responsible for the solicitation, negotiation and oversight of the unit's strategic partnership and investment activity. Fischer, meanwhile, previously spent 12 years at Turner Broadcasting, where he established a Market Strategy team, responsible for national network positioning and sales strategy, and also directed the development of Turner's four "Media at the Millennium" presentations. He has served on the Cable Advertising Bureau's board of directors, on its Executive Steering Committee for Electronic Data Interchange, and on its National Sales Advisory Board. He has also served on the board of the Advertising Club and on the AAAA's National Broadcast Committee. "Leap is excited and honored to have Tim and Barry as advisors," Chris Pizzurro, one of Leap Media's founding partners, said in a prepared statement. "They understand that consumers now interact with their TV remote in ways beyond just changing the channel. This creates innovative advertising opportunities for marketers."

Leap Media Group--which was founded by Chris Pizzurro, Courtenay Harry and Stuart Lipson--bills itself as offering media planning, creative, research and new business services to advertising agencies that are looking to maximize the benefits of digital TV advertising for their clients. The company defines digital TV advertising as "any ad unit on TV beyond the traditional commercial spot," including "interactive TV spots, video-on-demand messaging and program guide ads." The company says that it works with agencies to understand their clients' ad campaign goals and objectives, and then delivers a media plan that meets those goals by assembling digital TV inventory opportunities from multiple inventory providers, including cable and satellite operators and targeted content providers. Next, the company says, it manages the execution of the resulting campaign and provides a post-campaign report. Agencies that work with the company have the option of white-labeling its services to their clients.

In other personnel news:

  • Move Networks--a Utah-based company which offers patent-pending adaptive-bitrate technologies for delivering live and on-demand, HD-quality, buffering-free broadband video (its technologies are used by, among others, ABC, CWI, Discovery Communications, ESPN, Fox, Sky News, Televisa and Warner Bros.; and are also being used for Comcast's On Demand Online trial), and which earlier this year entered the IPTV space by acquiring UK-based Inuk Networks (see the article published on, April 22nd)--said Monday that it has appointed Steven Cox as EVP of strategy and business affairs, reporting to president and CEO, Roxanne Austin. According to the company, Cox "will focus on the development and execution of Move's strategic plan, including developing new initiatives to monetize Move's end-to-end video delivery capability, supporting the negotiation of key customer agreements and securing content distribution rights for the Move platform." More information on Cox's resume is available here.
  • TV station operator, Sinclair Broadcast Group, has named Rob Weisbord director of digital interactive marketing. According to the company--which owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 58 television stations in 35 US markets--Weisbord will help it launch a "new three-screen strategy" that will integrate TV, the Internet and mobile phones. More information on Weisbord's resume is available here.
  • BBC News has appointed Alex Gubbay as its first social media editor. According to the corporation, he will lead editorial development of user-generated content and social media initiatives across the BBC Newsroom. More information on Gubbay's resume and on his new role at the BBC is available here.


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