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CMP Media names Internet execs, boosts emphasis on podcasting and other content delivery methods

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Podcasting, the transmission of audio files over the Internet, is the firstborn of the Web technology to get special attention at CMP Media, with the naming last week of Curtis Franklin as Podcast Evangelist.

Franklin reports to Tom Smith, who started earlier this month in the newly created position of director of advanced content development for CMP’s TechWeb.

Both Smith and Franklin are charged with helping the staffs of CMP’s online titles to understand and use technologies and content formats that have emerged directly from the Internet. While titles are already involved in these nontraditional media, Smith said, “We want to ensure that we’re making the best use of these formats on a companywide basis. We want to make sure all our audiences have a consistent [editorial] experience and usability.”

Aside from podcasting, Smith will be looking at “any editorial content delivery that is not text on a page—blogs, RSS, videocasting, interactive graphics, wikis and more—and considering ways it could be applied by any CMP site that sees value for its audience.” Smith will be sharing best practices among titles, helping staffs rapidly build their skills and develop processes, and determining the best platforms for these efforts in tandem with CMP’s IT team.

Smith will devote the majority of his time to his new post, but the 14-year CMP veteran will also retain the title of editor-online for the InformationWeek Media Network. He reports to Bob Evans, senior VP-editorial director of TechWeb.

Franklin is shifting to his new role from his position as senior technology editor at CMP’s Network Computing and Secure Enterprise magazines. He previously held senior and executive editorial positions at BYTE, VARBusiness, Solutions Integrator, Internet Week and ITWorld.com.

At Network Computing, Franklin has done regular podcasts since April. He is also the co-author of the book “The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Podcasting,” which will be available later this month.

Franklin said he will encourage plenty of podcasting experimentation. “We think there is room for many different formats, from short interviews of five or seven minutes, to longer forms, such as roundtables that go 20, 25 minutes or more,” he said. “We’ve already seen a lot of interest from editors who want to podcast from industry conferences.”

While his new role is primarily editorial, Franklin said he will also be involved in the exploration of workable financial models for podcasting. These include 15-second audio spots similar to radio commercials, various forms of advertising on the Web sites from which the podcasts are delivered and “less common models, such as using the ID3 tags that the user sees on his or her listening device,” he said.

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