Industry Titans Form indoorDIRECT’s MediaAdvisory Board
Gail Chiasson, North American Editor
indoorDIRECT Inc., Dallas-based owner of the Restaurant Entertainment Network, announced earlier this week the formation of a new Advisory Board comprised of leaders from across the media and entertainment industries.
The founding members of the Advisory Board – Tony Thomopoulos, Mark Lazarus, Jon Mandel, John Mass and David Weitzner – will join forces with indoorDIRECT’s senior management and Board of Directors to strategically position the Restaurant Entertainment Network and promote its unique value to marketers seeking effective platforms to reach consumers.
“The enthusiasm and support of such an esteemed group of industry veterans validates the Restaurant Entertainment Network as a relevant and substantial advertising medium,” says Fred Margolin, CEO of indoorDIRECT. “Their depth of knowledge and expertise will help us to define this dynamic new category of restaurant entertainment and to refine our offering to ensure it is the preeminent solution for advertisers.”
Reaching more than 150 million consumers annually, the growing Restaurant Entertainment Network is currently located within 1,077 major brand quick-service and family-dining restaurants in America’s top Designated Market Areas. Through partnerships with over 100 leading media content providers, the network independently produces an entertaining mix of ‘bite-sized’ music, sports and pop culture programs.
“Our network engages receptive consumers in a DVR-free setting, with high-dwell time, when they are on the path to purchase,” says Margolin. “Our Advisory Board will be integral as we continue to expand our network footprint and enhance ad placement and integration opportunities.”
Currently founder and partner in Morning Light Productions, Thomopoulos has been president of ABC broadcast group; chairman of United Artists Pictures, and founder of Thomopoulos Productions, an independent production company of both motion pictures and television programs. His other roles include: president of Amblin Television; CEO of MTM Entertainment Inc.; chairman and CEO of Media Arts Group.
Lazarus has worked with every major sports league, Hollywood studio and major advertiser. Currently president of media and marketing for Career Sports & Entertainment, he earlier was president of Turner Entertainment Group, where he oversaw all aspects of Turner Entertainment Networks (TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV), as well as The Turner Animation Young Adults & Kids Media unit, Turner Broadcasting’s local Atlanta station, Turner Sports and Turner Entertainment Sales and Marketing.
Jon Mandel most recently was CEO of NielsenConnect, a unit of the Nielsen Company responsible for connecting all of the different information resources across Nielsen. Prior to this, he was chief of strategic solutions for GroupM, one of the world’s largest media communications companies. He has also held the role of chairman of MediaCom US.
Mass spent the past 17 years at the William Morris Agency, LLC., most recently as executive vice-president where he headed business development and new ventures. At William Morris, Mass was in charge of strategic planning, acquisitions, and investments on behalf of the company, and sat on the board of directors. He earlier founded and managed the agency’s corporate consulting and new media departments.
Weitzner provides marketing and strategy consultation to Fortune 500 companies around the globe, as the owner of David Weitzner Associates. He is also current director of the Summer Program for the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He earlier was corporate executive vice-president of Universal Studios strategic marketing group and president of worldwide marketing for: MCA/Universal Studios Recreation Services, the Weintraub Entertainment Group, Embassy Pictures, Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Palomar Pictures.