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Meet CBS's New Interactive CMO

Google's Patrick Keane Joins Eye Network

By Published on . 1

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has stolen away Tim Armstrong's right-hand man. In a surprising move last week, Patrick Keane jumped ship from the New York Googleplex to take up residence at Black Rock, CBS's headquarters, where he'll be chief marketing officer for its interactive division.
Patrick Keane
Patrick Keane
The hire comes on the heels of another high-profile CBS get to whom Mr. Keane will report -- Quincy Smith, hired away from Allen & Co. in November to lead CBS Interactive. Mr. Smith also has strong Google ties.

Mr. Keane, fresh from being introduced at CBS's sales conference in Las Vegas, talked to Ad Age Digital Editor Abbey Klaassen about leaving Fortune's "Best Place to Work" to help a traditional company tackle digital challenges.

Ad Age Digital: You left Google, arguably the subject of the most buzz in the entire ad industry. Why?

Mr. Kean: Well, Leslie had spoken of [Google] Zeitgeist. ... I thought his commitment and language and lexicon when it comes to digital was very sophisticated even before I considered leaving Google and coming to CBS. And I have known Quincy for a number of years and consider him a friend. [His hiring] signaled a real commitment at CBS that interactive was important. ... I also have a real passion for content. Google was a technology company driven to help creators of content get exposure. But I've always had a desire to work for content companies. I saw this as an opportunity to stretch both my left and right brain, since I was using more the analytical side of my brain at Google.

Ad Age Digital: Describe your new role at CBS.

Mr. Kean:There's a lot of nimbleness and dexterity to what this can be. There's the typical CMO that people are used to in traditional and integrated marketing, but this will look very different. At Google I ran sales marketing but also sales strategy [and was] responsible for growing revenue, partnerships and ad partnerships. Here I'll have a dotted line into [President-Sales] Jo Ann Ross. She drives huge business for this company, and I think there needs to be a tighter marriage between people selling broadcast and people selling interactive. I'd like to help drive that. This role might not look like a typical CMO. Audience acquisition and development are going to be crucial, but it's also being a helpful engine to help to grow advertising.

Ad Age Digital: The online world is so much more fragmented than the offline world. How does a so-called traditional offline play thrive in the online space?

Mr. Kean: As Leslie says, there's no such thing as online media. It's just another [medium]. Internet needs to stop being seen as exterior bucket. ... I think people look at offline traditional media and try to have the competitive categories line up in more traditional fashion. It's not necessarily true offline but couldn't be further from truth online. Anyone with competition for eyeballs and ad dollars competes with each other.

Ad Age Digital: So what's the game plan for content online and how you monetize that?

Mr. Kean: Quincy has made it very clear CBS wants to distribute content across virtually every property. It really is everywhere -- quite literally everywhere. On the sales side, it's too early to say how we're thinking about monetizing all these different platforms but safe to say I'll be working deeply with the presidents of different operating companies to help them monetize their inventory.
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