Wed - 13.12.2017

Hearst hires first ever chief technology officer

Hearst hires first ever chief technology officer

As Eastman Kodak files for bankruptcy protection today, the once-powerful company's demise has been largely blamed on its failure to adapt to the digital era.

With this warning ringing in their ears, it seems more urgent than ever now for publishers to make sure that they are doing everything possible to gain digital expertise.

The Hearst Corporation has already made a move in this direction by hiring Philip R. Wiser as its first-ever chief technology officer. Wiser, who will start his new role on February 1, was CTO of Sony Corporation of America from 2004 to 2006 and co-founded Sezmi Corporation, a company that offers broadband, mobile and cable providers with a platform for delivering personalized video content. Wiser served as chairman and president of Sezmi, before its recent sale to KIT digital for $27 million.

Earlier in his career Wiser founded Liquid Audio, an early music distribution platform and served as CTO before Microsoft bought up several of its digital rights management patents for $7 million.

This extensive experience will help Hearst beef up its digital presence. But an article about the new hire in Adweek notes that Hearst has already been focusing heavily on expanding its digital capabilities over the past year. The publisher has launched tablet editions of its titles, unrolled branded channels for its publications on YouTube and created an app lab last June for employees to develop new ideas, create apps and learn about the tablet market. What's more, Adweek notes that it bought up 50% of a reality TV production company Mark Burnett Productions last April.

Still, there is more to be done. In the official press release, Wiser is quoted saying that he is delighted to help Hearst "accelerate its efforts and maximize digital market opportunities across the Corporation".

CEO of Hearst Corp Frank A. Bennack, Jr. commented that Wiser's "experience as chief technology officer of a major media company and building digital companies in two different fields - television and music - will certainly help our businesses grapple with the changing landscape and continue to provide the best media and information products possible."

Sources: BBC, Adweek (1) (2) (3), Digital Media Wire, Hearst


Hannah Vinter


2012-01-19 17:44

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