NBC stations change name to ‘Local Media’

By Cory Bergman Comment

The NBC owned-and-operated stations (also known as TVSD) now have a new name to reflect the changing times: NBC Local Media Division. With the renaming comes two new digital appointments: Brian Buchwald has been named SVP, Local Digital Media and Multiplatform, and Mark French has been named SVP and GM of NBC Everywhere, a new unit focusing on the company’s growing digital place-based network. Press release below…

PRESS RELEASE — NEW YORK — November 13, 2007 – John Wallace, President of the NBC Local Media Division, today announced two key leadership positions within the organization. Brian Buchwald has been named Senior Vice President, Local Digital Media and Multiplatform, and Mark French has been named Senior Vice President and General Manager of NBC Everywhere, a new unit focusing on the company’s growing digital place-based network. Both appointments are effective immediately and report directly to Wallace.

In addition, Wallace announced a new name for the NBC Owned-and-Operated Stations Group, which will now be called the NBC Local Media Division. The new name better reflects the group’s mission to be a full-service local content provider for today’s digital platforms and underscores its ability to provide 360° integrated marketing solutions to the local marketplace.

“Our stations produce local content for a multitude of platforms beyond their primary channels, including broadband networks in a variety of genres, multiple digital channels, and various media platforms outside of the home,” said Wallace. “‘NBC Local Media’ better reflects the full scope of our capabilities, as well as our ability to offer clients a fully-integrated, local media solution across the full portfolio of our assets.”

He added, “Brian and Mark’s new positions highlight our focus on local media expansion beyond the limits of the traditional television space. I view them as critical to our success going forward and am delighted to have both Brian and Mark on board to lead these efforts.”

In his new role, Buchwald will be responsible for developing new business models and enterprises, including joint ventures, investments and partnership opportunities, that extend NBCU’s expertise in local media to a broader geographic footprint. He will also work closely with the group’s general managers to ensure that the core stations business remains dominant in the growing multi-platform media environment. In addition, he will explore alternative content production models, as well as new formats and channels for local content distribution.

“Brian brings the right blend of leadership, creativity and experience to this new role,” says Wallace. “His success in developing and launching the nbbc, one of the industry’s first digital video syndication businesses, demonstrates the kind of visionary thinking that will help drive NBC Local Media to the next level.”

As General Manager of NBC Everywhere, French will focus on expanding NBCU’s presence on alternative distribution platforms through strategic content and advertising partnerships with a focus on NBC’s local markets. He will also work closely with NBC Universal’s sales and marketing groups to integrate the digital out of home offerings into NBCU’s 360-degree offerings. French will also work closely with the NBC Agency and local stations to program the various Out of Home channels.

“Mark has done an incredible job creating partnerships for our stations that deliver over two billion captive impressions each year to consumers outside of their homes,” said Wallace. “The place based media environment is a key area of focus for us, and Mark’s leadership and passion for this business will ensure our continued growth in this area.”

Buchwald previously led the distribution partner network for hulu.com and also served as the General Manager of nbbc (National Broadband Company), a digital joint venture that he co-developed and helped launch in September 2006. He joined NBC Universal in 2005 as Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, where he played key roles in the company’s acquisition of iVillage.com and the digital partnership between Telemundo and Yahoo!

Prior to that, he led business development efforts at DoubleClick and PointRoll Inc., and also advised AT&T Wireless on the successful launch of its e-commerce division and several private equity firms on new digital ventures. He began his career in 1997 as an investment banker in the Morgan Stanley Technology Group in Silicon Valley.

French rejoined the NBCU Television Stations in 2005 as Director of Multi-Media Sales and Strategic Marketing, responsible for developing multi-media marketing initiatives for the NBC stations. In 2006 he was promoted to Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, where he secured local and national content and advertising deals with groups including the PRN Supermarket Network, Clearchannel Taxi and the Fuelcast Gas Station Network, forging the company’s strategic expansion in the out of home television market.

Before that, French worked at WRNN-TV, an independent television station in Westchester, N.Y., where he was vice president of sales & programming for two years. He also served as the business development and marketing manager for KNSD, the NBC owned-and-operated station in San Diego, Calif., and held sales positions at both stations.