Editor’s note: Executive Q&A is a regular feature on Tuesdays.Jeff Williams will be the third top executive to leave MediaSpan within a short time frame when he steps down sometime around July 1. But Williams, who led the firm’s radio division, isn’t worried about its future.
“I’m banking on it,” he tells Local Tech Wire, explaining that as a co-founder of the two-year-old venture he retains an equity stake.
The changes are taking place as MediaSpan absorbs First MediaWorks of California. Steve Vetter, co-founder with Williams, stepped down as chief executive officer two months ago. (The two successfully combined MediaSpan out of bankrupt companies such as Koz and Williams’ own NextAudio.) And Sam Whitt, chief administrative officer, is going back into law. Frank Campagnoni, the chief technology officer, now runs MediaSpan.
So what’s next for Williams when he leaves following the transition of First MediaWorks into MediaSpan? LTW asked him about his plans, MediaSpan’s future, and online media shortly after he announced his pending departure.
Any ideas about what your next project might be?
I am working on a few things that are in the formative stages but not ready for public disclosure. I’ve also been approached with some opportunities to join existing organizations and I will be carefully considering those.
Would your position have been phased out as new folks came onboard?
No, my position still exists, however it now belongs to Chad Meisinger (of MediaWorks)! While there are other roles I could have filled here, the fact is I’ve become very enamored with some of the new opportunities that I am working on and felt this was a perfect time to make the change … once the integration is complete.
Given your experience in online audio and MediaSpan, how do you see convergence evolving over next couple of years? Much more to come?
A lot more to come.
We are still in the early stages of the adoption of digital media. I believe we are now on the eve of a new dawning in on line streaming and music services. We were a couple years too early at NextAudio. To this day I have people who were familiar with our work at NextAudio tell me they wished they could once again have the services we had developed a few years ago. I see some very similar products now making their way to the market and this time the single biggest factor in their success will be the fact that content owners (record labels) have a much better understanding as to how digital media can benefit their businesses. This means they will support these products and services and therefore their adoption.
Also, other factors such as wireless and broadband adoption are growing rapidly. Taken together, these key factors supporting adoption of online audio/media are themselves converging and that is great news.
What do you consider your proudest achievement at MediaSpan?
Building a business in radio where there really was none to begin with. To become the leader, by far, in the radio broadcasting industry is phenomenal and we did it in under two years.
With so many changes at top in such short period of time, are you concerned about fallout or ill effects on MediaSpan?
No, the remaining management has been in place and in control for some time. The incoming talent from First MediaWorks has been in the space for many years. MediaSpan will do well. I’m banking on it!