Hal Vogel spent three decades on Wall Street tracking and analyzing media and entertainment companies as they morphed from homespun industry ventures into global conglomerates.
Now as head of his privately held Vogel Capital Management in New York, the former investment banking analyst is investing his own funds in new and old media start-ups that embrace the best of both worlds. The latest of those is INNX, a San Diego-based media company that has developed a new form of highly targeted TV advertising that piggybacks local TV news stories.
The stories, which NBC has been broadcasting on its TV stations for more than 18 months, are hosted in part by former NBC newsman Lucky Severson and have focused mostly on health and wellness. The stories, made available free of charge and underwritten by Procter & Gamble, are linked to 10-second and 15-second spots-provided by the local broadcaster to related advertisers such as P&G-that tie into the targeted subject matter or audience with products, interactive information and transactions.
EM: Do these news stories and related spots blur the lines between advertising and true news and information?
Mr. Vogel: There is some question of that. They’ve been very careful about separating church and state. But they have found in their testing that consumers are not as sensitive to that as industry people.
EM: Will the links between the stories, spots and related transactions on the Internet become more interactive and automatic as TV becomes more interactive?
Mr. Vogel: Yes, it’s leaning toward that. This is a form of syndication on content to stations, who are receiving less network compensation and needing to do more on their own. It brings local broadcasters and advertisers and consumers closer together.
EM: Have you been investing in this more uncertain market?
Mr. Vogel: I haven’t invested in a new company in the last six months. Everyone is more cautious. But there is a lot of opportunity out there.