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Martin Nisenholtz


Title:President, Digital Ventures, The New York Times, New York

Bio:Born in Philadelphia. Bachelor's degree in psychology, University of Pennsylvania, 1977; master's degree, University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School of Communications, 1979.

Work history:Assistant professor and research scientist, New York University, 1980-83; head of Ogilvy & Mather Direct Interactive Marketing Group, 1983-94; director of content strategy, Ameritech, 1994-95; current post, August 1995-.

The name Martin is to new-media devotees what Cher is to entertainment enthusiasts. In an industry where people with six months of experience are considered old-timers, Mr. Nisenholtz is downright ancient. But he doesn't let that keep him away from the cutting edge.

With his recent move from overseeing video programming for Ameritech to plotting The New York Times' new-media future, he's joined the migration from interactive TV to computer online services. And while he still believes two-way TV will be in homes in 10 to 15 years, the real action for now will be on computer screens.

"The one constant truth [in interactive media] has been the evolution of personal computing," he said. At O&M, Mr. Nisenholtz was the agency industry's most visible new-media proponent, ensuring advertising wouldn't be left out of the equation. He built the agency's interactive into a 40-person unit that worked for such clients as AT&T and American Express.

More than a digital pioneer (his early work was in teletext and videotex), he remains an innovator whose every move is closely studied.

Betcha didn't know:Mr. Nisenholtz was born on April Fool's Day. What that might mean, he won't speculate.

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