Spotrunner, the Santa Monica, CA-based firm which uses the web to help marketers buy TV ad spots, has been adding some heavy hitters to its executive roster. It recently did the high-profile hiring of Joanne Bradford, added Samuel Paisley as CFO, and now another big one: Mark Rosenthal has come on as president of Media Platforms and vice chairman. He will head up a newly created division focused on "leveraging Spot Runner's portfolio of technologies to develop programs specific to the needs of advertising agencies and media companies," the company says rather obtusely.
Mark was most recently at Interpublic Media, a division of Interpublic Group, as chairman and CEO overseeing all of the company's worldwide media operations, including Universal McCann, Initiative, MAGNA Global and others. He left the agency in end of 2006. Previously he was the president and COO of MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA). he is also on the board of CNET (NSDQ: CNET) Networks, which is in the midst of a rpoxy fight.
Interpublic has been one of SpotRunner's investors. "There is an excitement and energy at Spot Runner reminiscent of the early days at MTV and I am thrilled to be a part of it," he says effusively.
Spot Runner has been heavily backed, having most recently raised $40 million from *CBS*, WPP and Interpublic in 2006, for a total raise of about $60 million. Some would say they're making ample use of the big funding it got; others would be more generous: that it is getting in good revenues from its efforts. Another way of looking at it: SpotRunner has been on the acquisition target list for a while (including Google's), and the company has probably been showing a good path to an exit in the near future to be able to get such high-profile execs within the fold. Whatever it is, we'll have Joanne Bradford speaking at our EconSM conference later this month, and will pose some related questions to her then.
Meanwhile, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) itself is finally ready to launch its TV ads project.
By Rafat Ali