Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010 - 42

New Media
& Women:
A Discussion
We asked a trio of young, rising executives to
ponder New Media trends and opportunities
for women. Our panelists: Rebecca Glashow,
SVP, Digital Media Distribution, Discovery
Communications; Jennifer Kavanagh, VP, Digital
and New Media, Oxygen Media; and Lisa
Choi Owens, GM, Scripps Networks Digital. A
full transcript can be found at: cablefax.com
CableFAX: The Magazine: What will be the biggest changes
in digital and New Media in the next few years?
Rebecca Glashow: The biggest industry-wide changes will be
in the competitive ways to deliver video content and how it's
consumed. How do we fi nd ways to engage consumers on
these platforms that are complementary to our television subscription
business and not competitive with it? How do you
work with different screen sizes without creating a competitive
way to access your network?
Jennifer Kavanagh: The continued shift from the wired Web
to the mobile Web and folded into that, how social media plays
into everything. It's a shift content companies and the marketplace
are going to be forced to think more strategically about.
The onus is on us to understand what this ultimately means for
our business.
Lisa Choi Owens: I certainly hope for, and believe, there will be
a catch-up period for business models with the adoption rates
of consumers. Second, there will continue to be a proliferation
of new technology. I don't see any kind of standard being created
across all the platforms in a 2-3 year horizon, but within
3-5 years.
CFTM: Digital strategies seek engagement with viewers
away from their TVs. What are you doing to prepare for
that environment?
JK: We've discovered there's an appetite for co-viewing behaviors,
and I would say it's platform agnostic-the show itself is
one aspect of it, and the connectivity to talent, friends and other
fans in real time is the other part. We realize it's a responsibility
of ours to create this experience everywhere she is when she
decides to consume it.
LCO: I don't think new digital strategies are trying to take people
away from their TV, and the TV set is not going away. In
fact, there are now more TV sets per household. And that number
continues to grow. I believe some of the business models
around TV will change, but I don't think that TV and new media
are an either/or proposition. I think people just want more con42
cablefaxmag.com
trol
over when and how they get to see content, but people still
want to be " programmed, " too. It's not always going to simply
be the 30-minute or one-hour programming format, but we
need to continue to create excellent content and engage consumers.
If we do that, I think we'll be able to not only survive but
triumph, even amidst all the change.
CFTM: Are there issues you'd like to see the Digital and
New Media fi eld address?
LCO: To strip away the notion that it's only about technology.
When [it seems to be only about technology] you naturally are
not going to attract quite as many women, or as diverse a talent
pool as you might if you were to describe it as it really ought to
be-media.
RG: I think the cable industry, for the most part, has done a
great job of taking advantage of new technology and not running
from it.
CFTM: What kinds of opportunities in cable are not as open
to women as they should be?
RG: There's not one branch here at Discovery that I work with
that doesn't have women represented.
JK: I agree. I honestly can't tell you that there's a glaring place
that needs attention and focus... there's unlimited opportunity
in cable.
LCO: It's not that certain opportunities are not open to women,
rather there's a self-selection process. There are fewer women
who have an IT background... so they self-select out of jobs
that are more technically oriented.
CFTM: Has cable come far enough in terms of senior executive
opportunities for women?
RG: Yes. We have female GMs running the majority of our networks.
JK:
Women are running successful companies and setting lots
of precedents. That to me signals a tremendous amount of opportunity
for women at the highest levels of cable.
LCO: Cable has provided a lot of opportunities for women.
Otherwise I wouldn't be here. I know it doesn't happen overnight,
but if we do a better job of marketing ourselves away
from strictly " cable " and toward entertainment, media and consumer
engagement, we will have an easier time attracting more
diverse talent. ■
November 2010
CableFAX: The Magazine
http://www.cablefax.com http://www.cablefaxmag.com

Cablefax The Magazine - November 2010

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