IMM: DIGITAL MEDIA MASTERS: ANNA ZORNOSA: POINTCAST

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Few leaders of the digital revolution come with such relevant credentials as Anna Zornosa, who heads up PointCast ad sales.

Ms. Zornosa climbed through the editorial ranks of CMP, becoming publisher of Communications-Week at age 30.

She later jumped to rival Ziff-Davis Publishing and rose to executive director of Ziff-Davis Networks, responsible for $100 million in annual revenues. When Ziff-Davis was about to promote her again, Ms. Zornosa, who had two small children, opted to quit and spend more time with her family.

"Five months later, a friend showed me PointCast," she said. With that, she was back in overdrive, joining as one of the first executives of the Silicon Valley Internet startup.

Today PointCast is the granddaddy of "push" programming, far and away the category leader. Its advertisers include MCI, Saturn, EDS and BMW.

Its new PointCast College Network, Ms. Zornosa's brainchild, is now pitching advertisers still new to online media, such as condom and candy marketers.

Pioneering "push" online publishing hasn't been easy though, Ms. Zornosa said. It required a great leap of faith. Her ad sales staff, for example, had virtually no frame of reference a year and a half ago when pitching the concept of 30-second animated online ads to prospective advertisers.

"In the print world, the average [advertising] sales call lasts about 40 minutes . . . Our early PointCast pitches would last 3 to 4 hours . . . An hour into the meeting we would mention you can click on the ad. They were amazed. Until then, they hadn't realized these were interactive ads we were talking about."

Rick Bruner

Betcha didn't know: Ms. Zornosa's first foray into media sales was when, at 9, she became the neighborhood "TV Guide girl," distributing the magazine door-to-door.

Two years later she sold the franchise for a tidy profit to another 9 year old to pursue a career in baby-sitting.

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