Profile: Toni Erickson Knight, CEO of Worldlink

Mar 31, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Advertising inventory that is “covered up on a local level in the international marketplace” is an issue that concerns Knight, the founder and CEO of WorldLink, a media sales firm that represents more than 200 national, regional and international cable networks, broadcast stations and syndicators around the world.
“It is a contract violation when the network programming is covered by `pirate programming’ on the local system level,” Ms. Erickson Knight said. “Ultimately, this negatively impacts both the programs and advertisers. This happens often in Latin America and is a very frustrating situation for our networks and advertisers and for our company. The networks have established mechanisms to constantly monitor and work on preventing this from happening.”
Not surprisingly, Ms. Erickson Knight, whose company recently signed an exclusive representation agreement for all direct-response spot advertising with CNN en Espanol, CNN’s 24-hour Spanish-language news service, believes that the Hispanic-language marketplace in the United States will continue to be one of television’s big growth stories.
Also on Ms. Erickson Knight’s trend radar are interactive television and the proliferation of sponsorships and product placement. Programming execs and marketers alike are becoming “more inventive and strategic,” she said, and advertisers are becoming “more involved in the actual production process, integrating their products into the fabric of shows.”
If she weren’t in media sales, Ms. Erickson Knight would be on the case-as a prosecutor in one of her favorite shows, NYPD Blue, Law & Order or CSI. “I love the gamesmanship and human drama of the criminal justice system,” she said.
Is there anything she wishes she had sold less of? “Are you kidding?” Ms. Erickson Knight said. “We’ll sell just about anything.%