Why NBC Likes Valleywag’s Owen Thomas

By on 05/14/2009 5:16 PM @beet_tv

NEW YORK — Owen Thomas, who is finishing up as editor Valleywag, is heading to NBC to head up editorial operations for NBC Local in the Bay Area, one of several regional hubs created by NBC, it was announced today. (Press release below.)

News of Owen's new gig was first reported on TechCrunch by MG Siegler and reported in detail by Beet.TV

Earlier today, David and I went to 30 Rock to interview Owen's new boss Brian Buchwald.  Brian told us that Owen has "great sources, a voice and point of view."  We agree. 

We will publishing a bigger story about NBC Local and a number of developments.  But, in the meantime, congrats, Owen. 

More on the new job published earlier today on Mediabistro's WebNewser and a later report on the new Bay Area Newser.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer


San Francisco, CA-May 14,
2009– In a move signaling NBC's dedication to transforming its local strategy
by recruiting top digital talent, Susan Sullivan, NBC Bay Area's VP of News,
announced today her appointment of Owen Thomas as Editorial Director for NBC Bay
Area's digital efforts, effective May 26th. Thomas will also report to Gregory
Gittrich, VP of Content and Editor-in-Chief, NBC Local Integrated

ValleyThomas, a 14-year veteran of
online media, will oversee the local digital content efforts in the Bay Area,
including the recently launched website for the region, nbcbayarea.com, as well
as mobile applications and syndicated offerings. No longer an
extension of the on-air newscasts, nbcbayarea.com features
commentary, analysis, lifestyle coverage, news, and information created by local
contributors, blogs, online publications, print media,
and the television station to capture the pulse of and the Bay Area.

"Owen joins NBC Local Media
with a well-versed background in a variety of digital platforms. He has an
impressive track record of increasing web traffic and transforming digital
sites, and I am confident he is the right person to continue building on our
digital momentum," said Sullivan.

Thomas joins the NBC Local
Media Group from Gawker Media, where he served as
Managing Editor of Valleywag, the company's 24/7
online publication about technology and business, since 2007. During his tenure,
Thomas worked to reinvent and expand the site, quadrupling its monthly traffic
from 1.5 million pageviews to 6.5 million pageviews.

Prior to that, Thomas held
several positions of increasing responsibility at Time Inc. from 1999 through
2007, culminating with his position as Online Editor at Business 2.0. There, he
launched a network of 16 staff blogs and worked to
increase the site's monthly traffic from 2 million to 19 million pageviews.

Earlier, Thomas worked as an
online reporter and copy editor for Red Herring from May 1997 to June 1999,
where he covered startups, venture capital, and the technology industry.  He
also worked at Suck.com, Wired's groundbreaking online
publication, which has been cited by many as an inspiration for today's blogosphere. Thomas began his career in 1995 as an
Electronic Publishing Fellow at Mother Jones, the first general-interest
magazine to go online.

Thomas graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in
East Asian Languages and Civilizations. He currently resides in San Francisco.

About NBC Local

NBC Local Media is comprised
of ten NBC owned-and-operated television stations reaching 27% of US TV
households; the NBC Everywhere operation focusing on the growing Out of Home
digital market; LX.TV, a content production company that produces lifestyle and
cultural programming; Skycastle Entertainment, an
award-winning entertainment marketing and promotion company; and ten
locally-focused websites providing news, entertainment and information for true
city insiders. Together, the NBC Local Media properties distribute NBC
Universal content and produce local content for broadcast television, broadband
networks, digital channels and numerous media outlets outside of the home.  NBC
Local Media is a division of NBC Universal.


Recent Videos
Upfronts Won’t Die In TV Renaissance: Magna Global’s Bayer

FORT LAUDERDALE — If you think the coming age of buying addressable, internet-style ads in the blink of an eye is going to mean an end to the TV ad industry as we know it, think again. “I think we’ve entered …a renaissance of television,”Matt Bayer, SVP of advanced TV at Magna ...

Brienna Pinnow, Experian
Experian Gearing To Launch Connected Addressable TV Platform

FORT LAUDERDALE — “This has really been the year of addressable TV. We’ve done literally triple the amount of work compared to 2014,” according to Experian addressable advertising product lead Brienna Pinnow. Now the data company wants to do more? But what exactly? “To develop ...

More Safeguards Needed For Dynamic Ad Creative: Bank of America’s Paskalis

The concept of dynamic ad insertion – through which, consumers would get served a brand ad with different content, depending on their targeting profile – has been talked about for a couple of years now. The exciting reality may be around the corner, if the industry can persuade brands it is a ...

Context Of Viewing Still Matters To Ads: Videology’s CEO

Now that online video ad targeting technology can reach advertisers’ ideal audiences wherever they are watching, what is the use for the old model, in which buyers place their bets on shows with audiences they believed to be matched? The new doesn’t have to trump the old, says video ad tech ...

Too Soon For Dynamic Creative Ads: DISH’s Gaynor

Super-targeted TV advertising is just around the corner, but don’t expect the content of those ads to be served dynamically just yet. That’s according to DISH media sales and analytics VP Adam Gaynor. In this video interview with Beet.TV, he says: “Advertisers no longer need to use ...

Castree On Videology’s “Sand, Rocks & Boulders”

FORT LAUDERDALE — It’s one of the major ad tech vendors promising to define the emerging video advertising space. But what is going on at Videology lately? The way North America MD Tim Castree describes, Videology is a little bit like geology… “Sand — How we can use our ...

Cut The Fraud Bull From Ad Pricing: GroupM’s Gotlieb

If you want to price digital advertising appropriately, don’t just look at the rapidly-growing supply of inventory, look beneath the surface for what is really real. That’s according to veteran ad exec Irwin Gotlieb, the chairman of ad group GroupM. “Supply measured without taking in to ...

Context Still Matters For TV Ads: FreeWheel’s Rothwell

Does the coming age of one-to-one, super-personalized TV ads make the traditional process of buying ads against shows of a particular type dead in the water? Not at all, says FreeWheel agency and brand relations VP James Rothwell, whose company helps place video ads. “Context still matters,” ...

Data Will Set Context Free: SMG’s Scheppach

Advertisers are getting excited by the possibilities for super-targeted TV marketing promised by new ad tech platforms. In fact, to many, it looks like the days of traditional TV ads, which are bought against the context of demographic audience profiles, are numbered. But things are set for a correction, ...

How Simulmedia Tracks The ROI Of Linear TV: VP Storan

FORT LAUDERDALE — It may be old-fashioned linear TV, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring internet-like next-gen ad measurement to the ‘ol box. That’s what Simulmedia, the ad technology vendor, is doing. Although the company focuses on helping clients find the best inventory ...

Two Steps To Scaling Addressable TV Heights: Invision’s Marshall

FORT LAUDERDALE — This year, the promise of “addressable TV”, allowing advertisers to target individual TV sets, became a reality. But it remains just a slither of a US TV industry that is worth circa $75 billion. “There’s two parts to scaleability with addressable:,” says ...

TV Ad Super-Targeting Is Ready To Scale: Eyeview CEO

FORT LAUDERDALE — Last year was been characterized by the industry wondering when TV platforms would open up to support addressable TV advertising. This year seems to have been characterized by actual roll-out. Next year could mean larger-scale adoption. “The concept of being able to target ...