Heavy.com Gets Some Old-School Experience

Doug Rohrer, Former MTV Ad-Sales Exec, Sells the Guys

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The former head of ad sales for MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central has landed at Heavy.com. And although he's been with the company since April, it was announced just today that Doug Rohrer is the exec VP-revenue for the fledgling broadband company and will oversee all revenue streams.
Doug Rohrer was named exec VP-revenue for the fledgling broadband company.
Doug Rohrer was named exec VP-revenue for the fledgling broadband company.

"We've been so busy," he told MediaWorks, so busy he didn't have time to announce his hiring. Mr. Rohrer said the second quarter was Heavy's biggest growth quarter until the third quarter doubled that. Of course, it is a site to watch -- it has managed to ink deals with marketers such as Unilever, Coca-Cola, Miller and Chrysler and is projecting ad revenue of $20 million, triple 2005's total. In fact, it's perhaps fitting that Mr. Rohrer comes from MTV because many compare broadband programming to the early days of cable -- a fast-growing, highly targeted new medium. We caught up with Mr. Rohrer as he shuttled from meeting to meeting yesterday.

MediaWorks: You were at MTV for 14 years. When and why did you go to Heavy after that?

Doug Rohrer: I ran ad sales for music services, comedy and websites and then moved over to do the emerging stuff. I watched my two children really suddenly shift their media consumption, primarily from TV to the internet. ... For a person who is in biz of connecting marketers to their best consumers it was an eye opener. ... What everybody talked about going on -- I witnessed it at my house.

MediaWorks: Heavy and MTV both target a youth audience. But is that where the similarities end?

Mr. Rohrer: [When I came to Heavy] I had a great opportunity to use the relationships I had and I was comfortable selling the demographic. I picked cable over network in the '80s because I felt it was more targeted but delivering the same ad units. I went to Heavy because it shared some of the targeting cable does but at totally different ad units. Every advertiser is exclusive and the experience can be as deep as a series developed around a theme tied to that marketer's campaign or [one can do] these dynamic ad units that are all clickable that last a very short period of time. It's also different because I left a company of a couple thousand for a company of 50.

MediaWorks: You had 14 million unique visitors last month. Do you feel like you're getting scale?

Mr. Rohrer: The scale is getting there. We have the cumulative audience of most male-targeted cable networks. But Heavy will never be Yahoo any more than MTV will ever be Fox.

MediaWorks: Right now the target is younger -- although beer-drinking age -- men. Any chance you'd expand out to a different demographic?

Mr. Rohrer: We're expanding our content to being everything about males. We're in the irreverent humor space. ... [Younger-targeted] Teriyaki Strips will expand and we have been asked if we'd consider launching an older male site. But I feel like we've got our hands full with a website that's on fire, a social-networking site, pushing out to mobile, VOD, games and other platforms that accept this kind of content.
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