Verklin to Helm Cable Joint Venture

NEW YORK The country’s six largest cable operators unveiled a joint venture today to be headed by former Aegis Media Americas CEO David Verklin.

The new company, Canoe Ventures, has been created to develop a single national platform upon which the cable industry can sell new and enhanced forms of advertising including addressable and interactive commercials.

Verklin left Aegis in April after a 10-year run during which he led the media agency’s effort to build a North American presence. He had been discussing his departure from the agency for months and had already begun conversations with the cable industry about the Canoe Ventures role by the time he departed.

Canoe’s major challenge is to develop software and technology that will allow advertisers to easily display enhanced ads across the cable industry. The chief obstacle is that many cable operators use proprietary and incompatible forms of technology to display such ads currently.

Canoe will work both with cable operators and cable networks to develop the technology that will enable a uniform, cross-industry platform.

Verklin joins the venture on Aug. 4.

“We look forward to working with someone of David’s experience, intelligence and stature,” said Steve Burke, chief operating officer of Comcast, the nation’s biggest cable operator and a partner in the joint venture. Other participating operators include Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks.

“Cable is in a unique position to take advertising to another level for marketers, programmers and consumers,” said Verklin. “As technology has evolved and consumers have been given greater control over their viewing experience, we are all looking for innovative solutions and greater accountability.”