/// Comedy Central Is Dismantling Its Digital Wall

October 14, 2013  |  Media Week

Can a network merge its digital unit with the rest of the corporate structure? Comedy Central thinks it can—today, the network is announcing it’s done exactly that. The next question, of course, is how the agency and client worlds will react. “We basically dismantled the department formerly known as digital,” said Michele Ganeless, president of the network. “We had a digital team that made digital content and digital marketing and scheduled the digital platforms, and then … we realized that our audience doesn’t think of it that way. And we shouldn’t, either.” Accordingly, David Bernath is now evp, programming and multiplatform strategy, and Walter Levitt is now CMO. (Kent Alterman became president, content development and original programming earlier this year.) Across the network, among employees who manned Twitter feeds or posted fan art to Facebook accounts, Ganeless said, “Everyone who was speaking directly to our viewers now works in marketing.” But how does all this work with an agency world that is still to some extent siloed into digital and linear groups? Gibbs Haljun, managing director, media investment at GroupM, says it should work pretty well given that most agencies are already requiring their digital and linear divisions to work closely. “Everybody, regardless of whether the groups are separate or not, has to work closely together,” said Haljun. “You’re going to have video that lives on three different plans. It’s going to live on print in my iPad editions, it’s going to live on TV, and it’s going to live on digital video.” Naturally, it behooves a network that targets the 18-34 demo keep up with the times. Nielsen decided back in February to redefine what constituted a TV watching household and began including connected TV viewing

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Comedy Central Is Dismantling Its Digital Wall

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