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Profile: Steve Jacobs

Jun 10, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: Senior VP, broadcast and production systems division, Sony Electronics. He oversees the sales and marketing of the company’s Internet and network services businesses, including newsroom systems and asset management.
Background: Mr. Jacobs joined Sony in April 2000 after 16 years with CBS News, most recently as executive producer, new media. He also served as executive producer, special events. He left CBS because he wanted to become more involved with technology. “I was looking to do something brand new with technology-where technology and vision and content came together,” he said. “CBS had content and vision, and Sony brought me the third aspect: technology.”
Future developments: “We want to be the largest distributor for digital equipment,” he said. “We think optical disks will provide a revolution in work flow and cost efficiency because there will be random-access material stored so you won’t have to access it by time.”
The metadata revolution: “Every year, people pay literally hundreds of thousands of dollars because they put out money for material they thought was in the public domain that really isn’t,” he said. The incorporation of metadata can eliminate those problems going forward by including rights information with the content itself when created, he said. “Go 10 years from now, and [CBS] is reusing material [for a nostalgia show] from Rosie O’Donnell hosting “Survivor 4” in Central Park. Wouldn’t you like to know whether you have the rights to air that? Is metadata a cure-all for past business practices? No. But will it be useful going forward? Yes.”
NBC deal: Sony recently signed a deal with NBC to be the network’s exclusive provider of broadcast technology and services through 2009. The agreement includes studio cameras, monitors and data recorders, as well as new technology such as optical disk recorders and the company’s new MVS switcher, which allows simultaneous transmission in high definition and standard definition. The switcher is being installed in the “Conan O’Brien” studio for future use. As part of the deal, Sony will also completely rebuild the CNBC studio within the next year and a half.