This HBO internal memo was leaked to me by a source with the acerbic commentary, “Still more moving around the ‘job for lifers’ as Eric Kessler cements his digital strategy from 1993 — making HBO.com a portal. Steve Pamon, SVP of Digital Distribution, pointed out the pure stupidity of this idea. Eric phased him and his entire team out and put ‘lifers’ with no digital experience in charge of his ‘visionary plan’. “:
To: HBO Staff
From: Eric Kessler
Date: March 17, 2008
Re: Sales & Marketing Organizational Changes
Over the last few years, the platforms available for the distribution and promotion of HBO have increased dramatically. In addition to the basic linear service, HBO’s programming is now presented in a variety of formats on such platforms as HBO on Demand, HBO on Broadband, DVD, HBO.com, HBO Mobile, podcasts, and YouTube.
While these distribution channels provide revenue and promotional opportunities, they must be managed in a carefully coordinated manner in order to ensure that we present a consistent marketing message to subscribers and creative talent. To facilitate this coordination, we are consolidating various marketing functions, as follows:
Courteney Monroe is promoted to EVP, Consumer Marketing, and assumes additional responsibility for DVD and multiplatform program marketing. Over the past decade, Courteney has overseen HBO’s award-winning advertising campaigns, which increasingly have become multiplatform in scope. Last year, the hbo.com team moved into Courteney’s area in recognition of the emerging importance of the Internet as a promotional platform. By consolidating home video and multiplatform program marketing under Courteney, we will now have one group that develops campaigns encompassing the entire life cycle of a program across all platforms.
Sofia Chang, formerly SVP, HBO Video, assumes the new role of SVP, Retail Marketing, reporting to Courteney. In this role, Sofia will continue to manage the marketing of our DVD product and will now also oversee all retail marketing programs. James Costos, VP, Retail & Licensing, who just over a year ago successfully launched the HBO Shop, a prominent retail outlet for our DVDs and other HBO merchandise, will report to Sofia.
Rishi Malhotra assumes the new role of VP, Multiplatform Program Marketing, and will also report to Courteney. In this role, Rishi will help manage the promotion of HBO programming across multiple platforms, including HOD, HBO’s newly branded YouTube channel, and podcasts, among others. Joseph Giraldi has decided to leave HBO to explore other opportunities, but will report to Rishi for the next few weeks to help in the transition.
Henry McGee, President, HBO Video, will continue to report to Simon Sutton, President, Programming Distribution and International, and be responsible for the overall financial performance and management of HBO Video. He and his team will focus on developing the growth areas of international distribution and digital sell-through for our home video products. Jeremy Strauss will serve as Director, Electronic Distribution, reporting to Henry.
Affiliate Sales & Marketing
Our opportunities in the mobile platform primarily reside with Verizon and AT&T, both of whom are distributors of our linear service. As a result, we are consolidating our telco operation by moving Director Jeff Dallesandro, who previously worked in HBO Mobile, to Affiliate Sales, reporting to John Hagerty, GM/SVP, Special Markets, to serve these affiliate partners.
Brady Gunderson will serve as Director, Affiliate Broadband Product Development, and now report to Michael Bishara, SVP, HBO on Broadband.
Concurrent with these changes, HBO is accommodating Steve Pamon’s desire to take on an entrepreneurial role in the digital media space. I want to thank Steve for his accomplishments at HBO and wish him well in this endeavor.
The above changes will streamline our organization’s interaction with Programming, talent, and other HBO groups, resulting in greater efficiencies and more effective overall consumer campaigns.
Please join me in congratulating our talented team members on their new roles and responsibilities.
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