NEW YORK Media and agency veteran Lance Podell, recently the CEO of the contextual search advertising vendor Seevast, has been installed as the CEO of Next New Networks, a company comprised of multiple niche online video channels.
Podell succeeds Next New co-founder Herb Scannell, who in June announced on the company's blog that he intended to replace himself with someone who's "been there, done that in building a Web business."
Before Seevast, Podell held positions at companies across the media spectrum over his 18-year career including DealTime, Time Inc., Bronner Slosberg (a predecessor to Digitas) and Ogilvy & Mather. Just prior to Seevast, Podell was CEO of About.com's innovative contextual ad product Sprinks, which was eventually acquired by Google.
"I have always been about brands and linking them with content that strikes a cord with consumers," he said. "That's the challenge I had in mind when Next New Networks came to my doorstep." Scannell, who will relinquish day-to-day responsibilities at the company, will continue to serve in an advisory capacity as executive chairman, Podell said.
At Next New, Podel will focus on monetization for the company, which produces more than a dozen daily and weekly video series that are distributed across the Web (including AOL and YouTube). He believes that while Next New's group of series, which include Fast Lane Daily and ThreadBanger, have scored creatively while building solid audiences, there is an opportunity to increase ad revenue.
"The business is monetizing itself, but we need more inventory," he said. The hope, added Podell, is to maintain Next New Networks' ability to customize ad programs for advertisers while bringing more automation to the process. "We need to take advertising on the site and make it more scalable," he said.
Podell, who left Seevast on Sept. 1, will assume his new duties at Next New on Oct. 1. Meanwhile, Jaan Janes, Seevast's president, business and product development, and Jeff Kamikow, president, sales and operations, are expected to assume managerial control of the company as co-presidents.