Fusion Adds VP of Innovation and Engagement

Sam Ford moves over from marketing firm Peppercomm.

It’s not every digital media executive who can point to juggling ongoing duties with MIT. But such is the case with Sam Ford (pictured), who has joined the company to fill an exciting new role.

Here’s the memo from Fusion CEO Isaac Lee:

Hola team,

I am thrilled to announce that Sam Ford has joined Fusion full time in our New York office as Vice President of Innovation and Engagement.

In this role, Sam will be managing Fusion’s relationships with a range of academic, industry and nonprofit organizations as well as other key communities that are focused on innovation and experimentation in storytelling. You can expect to see Sam involved in a range of projects across our organization, making sure we are being purposeful rule-breakers – always seeking opportunities to push boundaries and build sustainable approaches to connecting with young, multicultural audiences where, when, and how they would most want to engage with our content. A journalist, academic, and author, Sam has a dynamic background that will be a great benefit to us as we continue to deliver impactful journalism in provoking and entertaining ways.

I am pleased to say that Sam will continue to work with MIT in his role as a research affiliate for their Program in Comparative Media Studies/Writing. This will allow us to stay connected to one of the top centers of innovation in the country. In 2005, Sam helped found and manage the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium, a research project that focused on how the media environment is evolving in the digital age. Sam also helped launch and run the MIT Futures of Entertainment conference series and was a member of the committee that helped develop what eventually became the MIT Center for Civic Media.

If you have not had the chance to read Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture, I would suggest you look it up.Spreadable Media, which Sam co-authored with Dr. Henry Jenkins and Dr. Joshua Green, was named one of the best business books of the year by Strategy+Business in 2013 and a top pick among readers of Ad Age. It is being used in classrooms across the country to examine the nature of content discovery and transmedia storytelling, among other subject areas. With a wide range of interests when it comes to media, Sam also co-edited The Survival of Soap Opera, a book about the fate of the Soap Opera in a digital age, and has written extensively on sensations in pop culture like professional wrestling.

In addition to his role at MIT, Sam will also continue to teach remotely as part of Western Kentucky University’s Popular Culture Studies Program (his undergraduate Alma Mater). Prior to joining Fusion, Sam worked with marketing and communications firm Peppercomm for the past eight years, serving most recently as Director of Audience Engagement. While there, PR News named him Digital Communicator of the Year and a Social Media MVP. In 2011, Bulldog Reporter recognized him as Social Media Innovator of the Year.

Over the past decade, Sam has written pieces for a wide range of publications—including The Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Fast Company, Inc., BusinessWeek, The Christian Science Monitor, Ad Age and The Huffington Post, among others. Sam began his career as a reporter and columnist for various newspapers in Kentucky.

As some of you know, Sam is already digging in, as he has been working with the investigative and marketing teams on some of our strategies around investigative projects like our “Prison Kids” documentary, as well as our company-wide approach to the 2016 elections.

Please join me in formally welcoming Sam to the team.

Abrazos,
Isaac

Ford, who had previously been consulting for Fusion, started this week. Congrats.