A treat to work with,
Stephen McNie was CTV.ca's first dedicated sales executive.
In a very short time, he built an impressive portfolio of advertisers and doubled revenues several years in a row.
He laid the foundation of what is today a tremendously successful web business.
Creativity is one of Steve's great strengths. His ideas and approaches were always fresh and energizing. He found innovative ways to complete projects and he always respected the role and responsibilities of content managers.
PRODUCT AND TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION
Elements that intrigue viewing audiences are what inspire engagement between audiences, the program and the brand.
I was brought in to expand a team of 3 who sold online advertising on the websites of CTV, TSN and Discovery. CTV.ca's experience with online sponsorship at that point was minimal and seen mostly as a value-add to a broadcast proposition. I wa soon ported over to CTV's tremendous Brand Partnerships team as the point person on all digital extensions to the broadcast-driven, multi-platform projects that came out of this smart, creative, industrious group.
I tapped CBC Olympics experience to quickly demonstrate CTV.ca's revenue potential in contextually themed online features based on broadcast programs. These were often contests that went far beyond straight enter/win: opportunity to deliver brand messaging is proportional to how much and long audience is engaged.
My role was often to invent the feature, pitch it, oversee its build, monitor it while it was live, ensure media delivery, oversee admin considerations like billing, reporting and rules/regs, ensure fullfillment and post the results with agency and client statkeholders. 50% of our pitches were in response to client briefs, and 50% were sponsorable broadcast events that had potential for an online element.
This kind of business put me in touch with all levels within every ad agency of consequence - and often with decision makers from brand teams.
Online programming concerns were minimized by involving stakeholders in concept creation. They loved the incremental traffic created by busy features that attracted and kept visitors on the site. They liked that traffic to these features was created by advertising on Canada's most-watched TV network (sponsors were literally paying CTV to promote itself). Broadcast programmers loved that their TV audience was engaging beyond the TV screen. Sponsors loved the quality of our properties, our execution and the results we almost always able to post.
All that and new money to do more cool stuff.
The last three years of my work at CTV were as part of a greatly expanded team dedicated to online sales and support.
This meant changes in reporting lines, dynamic and layers of people to to talk to about execution.
CTV is Canada's #1 network, consistently broadcasting 8 of the 10 most-watched shows at the time I was there. Bell Globe Media was a partnership that owned CTV, NewsNet, TSN, Discovery, Comedy, Space, Bravo!, MuchMusic, MTV Canada and others. The company was renamed Bell Media when the Globe & Mail divested in 2011.