Comcast Gets Serious About Digital Sales

Hires Former Yahoo Exec Adrienne Skinner to Sell New Networks

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NEW YORK ( -- Adrienne Skinner joined Comcast the week before Christmas -- so she's had a few weeks to get her bearings before talking to Mediaworks. She is Comcast's new VP-interactive sales, a former Yahoo exec who was lured to the Philadelphia company after hearing Comcast's grand internet plans.
Adrienne Skinner is Comcast's new VP-interactive sales.
Adrienne Skinner is Comcast's new VP-interactive sales.

The cable operator is one of the largest broadband distributors in the country and has been fast bulking up its own digital content portfolio, recently launching a gaming network,, and a user-generated content site, Ziddio. Based in New York, Ms. Skinner -- a mother of four girls -- will be doing the trek to the City of Brotherly Love two to three days a week.

MediaWorks: So you've got the online video side down but Comcast has lots of other next-gen TV types of products, such as on-demand or interactive. Will you be able to bring all of those options to a marketer so they could buy across all of them in one buy?

Adrienne Skinner:That's the goal. It's important that one doesn't sit down and assume you can eat the entire banquet in one sitting. But, for me, it's important to help the interactive folks who are trying to make the right decisions to know you have to go deep, not wide. Everything the marketer could possibly need, if we've done our job right, exists in the repertoire of properties here that are continuing to grow and on the drawing board. It's not about siloed effect in terms of media allocation these days. You have to understand the full sweep.

MediaWorks: Where are you getting most of the impressions that you're selling?

Ms. Skinner: Certainly with the two sites that have been launched we have some major plans to develop distribution and content. ... The portal,, which exists largely for our broadband subscribers, already is a significant deliverer of active online users. It's a hidden-under-the-barrel asset. I think folks will be shocked to find out how much is here already -- 15.5 million unique users a month and growing rapidly. These aren't inconsequential customers. They're adept users because they've seen the benefit of broadband and are adept at using it.

MediaWorks: Ziddio is a user-generated content site and there's been lots of talk about whether there's much ad potential there. How will that play into your ad sales plans?

Ms. Skinner:Ziddio is basic in terms of a UGC site. But it's 2.0 -- the basis of it is it's a video talent showcase. ... There's a component within Ziddio where you vote and those that are most popular are highlighted. Its real appeal is what you have to offer as a potential filmmaker, TV producer or ad creative services director. The site is like "American Idol" online but the talent is what you can produce. So we're not in a position where there's copyright infringement.

MediaWorks: Will you be doing deals with other companies either to increase distribution or sell inventory and share revenue?

Ms. Skinner: You'll see some of those and some very soon. We're looking for ways to partner up with other companies that will matchup with what we think will be the most appropriate segments, both from an editorial side and advertiser side.
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