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Cintorino to lead digital push at Northstar

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Company: Northstar Travel Media
Location: Seacaucus, N.J.
Title: exec VP-digital media
Big move: Cintorino jumps from PennWell Corp., where he was senior VP-digital media, to Northstar Travel Media to push e-media innovation at the company.
Core responsibilities: Developing next-generation digital initiatives, including lead-generation programs and electronically oriented marketing services programs for marketers.

Executives who can run e-media operations at b-to-b media companies are in demand these days. And Tom Cintorino is among the most in demand.

In November, Cintorino jumped from PennWell Corp., where he was senior VP-digital media and helped develop that media company's Web strategy, to Northstar Travel Media, which publishes Meetings & Conventions and Travel Weekly.

The move underscores how important e-media has become, not only to Northstar Travel in particular but to b-to-b media companies in general. “In the current environment, if you're a b-to-b media company, it's a critical hire getting someone to lead in the digital space,” said Reed Phillips, managing partner of DeSilva & Phillips. “I think it's a good move.

Thomas Kemp, who became CEO at Northstar earlier this year, said that Cintorino will be charged with growing the company's digital revenue and initiatives. “We're really looking to build on next-generation product offerings for our customers that go beyond the traditional display advertising on Web sites, and sponsored e-newsletters and webcasts to really become more involved in developing marketing services for our customers,” Kemp said. “We're in the process of developing and rolling our rich media and lead-generation products, microsites, custom digital programs and building Web sites [for our customers].”

“This is a smart move by Tom Kemp and his timing is spot on,” said Richard Mead, managing director at Jordan, Edmiston Group. “Tom Kemp has reviewed the business since taking charge earlier this year. He has a solid base of great brands to work with and is now looking to develop the online and events aspects as quickly as he can. Having an experienced online operator like Tom Cintorino on the team will add greatly to the depth of the management team.”

Northstar currently generates about 5% of its overall revenue from its database products and another 18% from digital marketing products, meaning that 23% of its revenue stems from digital sources.

In addition to his 10 years at PennWell, where Cintorino helped develop PennEnergy among other digital initiatives, Kemp wanted Cintorino because he had sales experience as well as digital expertise. Prior to joining PennWell, Cintorino had sales and marketing experience with technology startups. “He has a nice combination of understanding the sales process, understanding contact with the customer as well as the strong technology background,” Kemp said.

Cintorino spoke with Media Business during his first day on the job. He underscored his newness to the position. “Well, I was able to log on to my computer and I know my phone extension now,” he joked.

He said his first steps will be to talk to the managers and employees at Northstar to get a more complete understanding of the company. “My first job is to digest everything that's going on today at Northstar Travel Media,” he said.

At first glance, he believes that there are likely opportunities for smaller digital products aimed at slices of Northstar's audience. He also understands what he was brought into the company to do. “The end result,” he said, “has to be increased revenue, increased profit.”

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