Fox Cable Revamps Digital Unit to Better Handle New Platforms

As new media platforms continue to sprout up, TV powerhouses like Fox Cable Networks (FCN) are wrestling with the best ways to serve advertisers across all of them. The firm has charged its Fox Cable Sports ad sales exec, Adam Holzer, with an additional role heading up its integration and emerging media division. The goal is to increase buying efficiency for ad clients, and get the network primed to provide cross-media offerings at next year’s upfront season, according to Holzer.

The creation of his new position, SVP integration and emerging media, said Holzer, “is both sending a message internally and externally to our clients that we are…better aligning ourselves with our wireless counterparts, VOD counterparts, and broadband counterparts.” Holzer added, “Now we’ll have someone in ad sales working with them on a daily basis.”

Indeed, Holzer will act as a central hub, working with various FCN sales and content execs representing all the firm’s platforms in order to speed up the cross-media buying and campaign development process.

The newly-created division is essentially a re-branded version of FCN’s integration and marketing unit. In addition to his current role as SVP of advertising sales for Fox Cable Sports, Holzer immediately will begin heading up the renamed division, comprised of about ten staffers. “I think we’re going to look to grow the group, but the plan is to evolve that group because we really see this as a growth area,” continued Holzer, who said his compensation is still being negotiated.

Media firms like FCN are up against increasing advertiser demand for product and brand integration with content. “It’s not just ad buys anymore,” said Holzer. “We’re seeing a lot of business with non-traditional agencies,” such as those dealing with product-placement, he added.

Holzer’s experience developing integrated content for Fox Cable Sports advertisers will inform him in his new role, he told ClickZ News. For example, last year the sports unit created a TV segment on “Best Damn Sports Show Period” sponsored by Coca-Cola’s Full Throttle energy drink which incorporated Web content as well as print content through its relationship with Sporting News. FCN also has created TV and Web campaigns recently for Men’s apparel brand Haggar and Microsoft’s Windows Live, according to Holzer.

Streamlining pre-roll video ad integration with TV buys, and “working very closely” with sister companies like MySpace to create cross-platform ad packages will be on the agenda for the new department, he continued.

“The ultimate goal is to better position ourselves in the upfront,” said Holzer. This means working with content groups to ensure content licenses allow for cross-media ad packages and brand integration. “Our clients are going to be asking for these extensions; they’re going to be expecting them,” he said.

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