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Bravo Puts Hsia Atop New Media Strategy

Apr 2, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Bravo upped executive Lisa Hsia to the new post of senior VP for new media and digital strategy, a role that now encompasses all of the cable network’s new media and online extensions.
Ms. Hsia previously was senior VP of new media, overseeing wireless, interactive TV, games and video-on-demand. She now adds responsibility for the network’s Web sites and its related broadband properties such as Outzone.tv, TelevisionWithoutPity.com and BrilliantButCancelled.com. Those properties had previously fallen under the purview of Bravo’s Jason Klarman, but the former executive VP of marketing now is serving as general manager of sister cable network Oxygen, also owned by NBC Universal.
“By combining we can capitalize and go to a whole new level,” Ms. Hsia said. “One of my goals is to take our digital engagement, whether it be blogs or TelevisionWithoutPity, and build out affinity-based loyalties.”
In her new role, Ms. Hsia will be responsible for setting the overall strategy for all aspects of Bravo’s digital business. Because the network is limited, via its contracts with cable operators, to streaming only a handful of episodes online at any given time, Bravo has concentrated its Internet efforts on creating communities around the network’s shows and topic areas.
Bravo also has been aggressive in interactive TV. The network has introduced one-screen interactivity in some cable markets for shows like “Top Chef” and also implemented mobile phone interactivity for the most recent season of “Project Runway.” Building on those earlier efforts, Bravo plans to introduce “L-Bar” technology in June for some of its shows.
The “L-Bar” is an interactive technology that resides on top of a show or commercial, letting consumers interact live with the content using a computer or cell phone, Ms. Hsia said. Bravo controls the technology from its network operations center and will layer it into a handful of programs when it introduces the interactivity into reruns of shows such as “Top Chef,” she said.
Ms. Hsia also will focus on building out social communities. “We want to make our Bravo users brand ambassadors through word of mouth and have the users spread the word virally,” she said. She declined to disclose more details, but said to expect projects in the coming months along those lines. The network also will relaunch TelevisionWithoutPity.com with new features.
Her overall goal is to deepen engagement with viewers. She said 92% of members of the “Project Runway” mobile fan club participated in questions Bravo posed on mobile phones about the show’s contestants.
Bravo said its Web properties have grown in monthly page views from 8.5 million in 2004 per month to 120 million per month in the first quarter of this year. Bravo now is reaching 3.3 million unique visitors each month, more than five times its reach in 2004.

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