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Alan Cohen


Title:Exec VP-marketing, NBC, New York

Bio:Born in Philadelphia. B.S. in communications, Boston University, 1978; MBA, Harvard Business School, 1982.

Work history:Manager of marketing and planning, CBS Consumer Magazine Division, 1978-80; management associate, NBC, 1982-83; manager of marketing analysis, 1983; director of marketing, 1984-86; VP-marketing and business development, 1986-88; VP-network TV marketing, 1988-91; senior VP-marketing, 1991-94; current post, 1994-.

With all the multimedia activity percolating at NBC, it's hard to imagine a time when the peacock network wasn't involved in interactivity.

NBC is unveiling a dynamic new online service as part of the Microsoft Network and is ramping up a major CD-ROM publishing unit.

For his work, Mr. Cohen has received the ultimate corporate compliment: having his interactive work moved into a new unit and treated as a legitimate profit center.

"We really saw ourselves as trying to be out front in learning about this new technology and new media form to position our company," he said. "We started out very small, and now it's becoming a big part of our business."

Mr. Cohen admits that early on he had his detractors, including many of his brethren at NBC.

"When we first started out, people asked us why were we bothering with it. But even though it was small, it gave us a fresh perspective on how we do everything," he said.

This fall, NBC will extend its interactive marketing opportunities via Peacock Park, an area on MSN and the World Wide Web.

"It will be a virtual theme park where we will house all of our interactive promotions, events, content and advertiser tie-ins," Mr. Cohen said.

Betcha didn't know:Recently, Mr. Cohen undertook some personal investigative work on the Internet and America Online, attempting to track down an elementary school sweetheart, Jennifer Walter.

"I think she might have gotten married and changed her name by now. So far, I haven't been able to find her, but I have gotten a lot of interesting responses so far. One person referred me to a lonely hearts club," said Mr. Cohen, a very eligible bachelor.

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