NBC's Silverman Grabs Digital Expert From MSN

Cameron Death Created Branded-Entertainment Deals for Portal

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Cameron Death, U.S. director-branded entertainment at MSN, is leaving the portal to lead digital development under Ben Silverman at NBC. At MSN, Mr. Death was the lead lieutenant to Gayle Troberman, who led the division dedicated to producing the portal's branded-entertainment programs. MSN has arguably been the most active major web player when it comes to branded entertainment.
Ben Silverman has a new VP-digital content: Cameron Death.
Ben Silverman has a new VP-digital content: Cameron Death. Credit: Mitchell Haaseth

Mr. Death, who will become VP-digital content at NBC, and Mr. Silverman have worked together over the past couple years. In May 2006 Mr. Silverman's Reveille inked a first-look web development deal with MSN, which at the time was said to rankle NBC, with whom Mr. Silverman had a first-look TV development deal. MSN used the partnership to craft several branded-entertainment programs, including "Chef to the Rescue" with Cat Cora, to which it signed Kraft as a first-season sponsor. Another program, "Nanny Connie," included video of the 6-foot-3-inch nanny-to-the-stars doling out advice on caring for babies, with interactive features that allow moms to test their knowledge against Nanny Connie's or ask her specific parenting questions.

Incubator for TV
In the past, Reveille and MSN have suggested the partnership could serve as something of an incubator for TV programming. Should a program catch fire online, it could be transported to the other screen.

Recently MSN announced a new slate of branded programs with Reveille.

One production executive Mr. Death has worked with in the past and who is familiar with his future plans (but declined to be identified because Mr. Death's move to NBC hadn't yet been announced) called the executive a "great hire" for NBC and a "friend of creative."

Hollywood player
Such an executive would likely bolster Mr. Silverman's reputation among advertisers and media buyers, who see the NBC co-president as a Hollywood player who realizes marketers looking for more engaging advertising can also help fund the development of new shows. Likewise, as NBC makes more of its content available online, and crafts extensions of programs that are tailored to web audiences, finding ways to weave marketers into the mix in ways other than 30-second TV ads becomes more important.

Mr. Death "can put complex ad models together, speak to creative producers on behalf of brands in a way that doesn't compromise creativity and creative process and understands sustainable economic models," said the production executive.
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