By Amy Helmes
Special to TelevisionWeek
Joining the work force fresh out of college, Michael Teicher had one goal: “I wanted a job in sports,” said the executive VP of media sales at Warner Bros.
He succeeded in finding one-as an account executive for Major League Baseball Productions, which led to a job at Turner Sports. Mr. Teicher said he found that sports marketing intrigued him as much as anything happening on the field. “I realized at a young age that advertising’s impact on the success or failure of our marketing partners was critical, and it’s something I enjoyed right away.”
While at Turner, Mr. Teicher helped create Turner Marketing Solutions Group. “I decided that rather than be typecast as a ‘sports guy,’ I should do something completely different. This ostensibly gave me a marketing MBA on the job.”
Next, he spent a year at ReplayTV as senior VP of advertising sales. “It gave me a sneak peak at how new technology is going to impact the future of the ad business,” he said.
At Warner Bros., Mr. Teicher is blessed with a portfolio of programs that represent successful brands and personalities, from “Friends” and “ER” to “Access Hollywood” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
One major theme of Mr. Teicher’s philosophy is to stay on top of marketplace trends. “It might be the most fun part of the job,” he said, “particularly when you’re out in front of something and you set the trend.”
That’s what he’s hoping to do with Warner Bros.’ new offerings for 2005, including “Smallville” and “Sex and the City.” “Bringing ‘Sex and the City’ into syndication is almost like selling a first-run sitcom, given the fact that less than 33 percent of the U.S. population has HBO,” he said. “What it did for HBO and what it’s currently doing for Turner gives us reason to believe this will be a true sitcom standout.”
Great expectations also precede the new first-run talk show hosted by “America’s Next Top Model” creator/executive producer Tyra Banks. “I so profoundly believe in this show,” said Mr. Teicher, who said he hopes these additional programs will open up younger-skewing categories with which to build the business.
Tim Spengler, executive VP and director of national broadcast for Initiative Media, said he appreciates the effort his colleague makes to understand the customer. “Michael approaches our clients’ businesses from a marketer’s perspective,” he said. “He thinks about their needs in a bigger-picture way, which often goes beyond selling spots.”
Just the Facts
Title: Executive VP, media sales, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
How long in current position: Three years
Year of birth: 1964
Place of birth: Suffern, N.Y.
Who knew? Mr. Teicher says he was hired because his passion for the New York Yankees rivals that of his boss, Dick Robertson. “I think that put me over the top,” he said.