New Media Execs Out, Old Media Execs In

from the all-change dept

There were a couple of interesting moves at some big media companies this week: first, AOL's CEO, Jon Miller, left the company and was replaced by the president of NBC Universal, Randy Falco. Then, Ross Levinsohn, the head of Fox Interactive Media, which oversees MySpace among other things, left the company and has been replaced by the head of Fox Entertainment's digital media group (who's also, incidentally, named Levinsohn and is Ross' cousin). Falco's credentials are impressive, but they're decidedly old media, making him a curious choice for a company like AOL, while the new Levinsohn's been with Fox for nearly 20 years, most recently working on rights issues and revenue-sharing agreements, so he doesn't sound like a guy that's going to be any sort of visionary new-media leader. As Om Malik notes, it's odd that these companies are turning to old-media leaders to run their new-media operations, but somehow it isn't that surprising given that much of their new-media strategies have been to turn things into old media. These companies don't seem to realize that they're not competing against TV channels, paper publications and movie studios in this space; they're up against the likes of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other internet heavyweights. Competing against them requires leadership that understands them and understands the space, and it's hard to see how bringing execs seasoned in old media and old business models will help move them forward.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Rick Gutleber (profile), Nov 17th, 2006 @ 8:51am

    Time-Warner is Old Media

    It was sad to see Miller kicked out, when he finally had something really good to show for his efforts, but for all the good talk, I always felt AOL still wants to be Old Media, and to me, this new appointment seems to confirm that perception.

    Still, you need to wait and see what happens.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    seasoned, Nov 17th, 2006 @ 9:39am

    Is seasoned bad?

    I find it interesting that the author seems to discount the leaders because they have experience, "it's hard to see how bringing execs seasoned in old media and old business models will help move them forward." Does being a domain expert in a similar area peclude the seasoned person from mastering the new? Is there a point when one can no longer master challenges? Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending them, but they should be allowed to stand or fall on their own merits.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    olorinpc, Nov 17th, 2006 @ 9:46am

    Re: Is seasoned bad?

    You do have a good point, experiance should not be discounted.

    However, I think the idea is that the "old media" has had a trend to try and ignore what the digital age is and that bringing in execs from old ways of thinking *might* not help compete when the competition is not the same as it was.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Nov 17th, 2006 @ 9:48am

    Old dogs and new tricks...

    Maybe these old media leaders actually have to balls to embrace the new media methods. They and others like them may become the bridge that links the old to the new.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    chris (profile), Nov 17th, 2006 @ 10:15am

    "seasoned" is a euphemism

    for "crotechety and old". i think it will be great to hear speeches at share holders' meetings that begin with "back in my day we didn't have internets".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    seasoned, Nov 17th, 2006 @ 10:35am

    Re: "seasoned" is a euphemism

    Hmm.. I think maybe this is a good case of an inability to embrace a new paradigm. What is considered old in todays "new" market of ideas? 30? 40? 50? 60? I guess experience looks at youth and says, "They don't have a clue." And youth looks at experience and says, "They can't understand."
    I guess ya just have to prove yourself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Miss Rhea, Nov 17th, 2006 @ 3:23pm

    replacement at Fox

    Peter Levinsohn has been an innovator at Fox digital media. I think it's a fantastic replacement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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