DMM: Dave Morgan

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Dave Morgan decided to give up his career as a newspaper lawyer when he realized media executives were having a lot more fun than litigators.

So he became director of new media ventures for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association, helping newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette develop new media projects such as audiotext, online bulletin boards and cooperative projects with cable TV and telephone companies.

Vital stats:
Title: President, Real Media, New York.
Age/bio: 34, born in Philipsburg, Pa.; B.A. in Political Science, Pennsylvania State University, 1985; J.D., Dickinson School of Law, 1988.
Attorney, Duane, Morris & Heckscher, Philadelphia, 1988-1990; general counsel and director of new media ventures, Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers' Association, 1991-1995; current post, 1995-.

While working with newspapers, he realized that when it came to developing new media ventures, "Some would do a great job, but at least as many would do a very poor job."

That's when he decided to launch Real Media, an advertising network and ad management provider for traditional media companies whose clients include The New York Times, Washington Post and other major publishers.

Real Media also developed a standalone technology company called Open AdStream, an ad management and serving solution, and while it wasn't meant to be a core business, "We're fortunate we have a part of the company that is actually producing money instead of draining money," said Mr. Morgan.

However, the ad network side of the business is picking up steam, particularly with the demise of New Century Network, for which Real Media provided ad serving technology.

Real Media has struck deals with many of New Century's former advertisers to place ads on its network of newspaper sites, and has also picked up considerable business from New Century's former partners, such as an agreement with Knight-Ridder to be its exclusive sales rep in the top 20 markets.

This year, Mr. Morgan will focus on creating "impact programs," which he describes as "putting together unique local content and passionate audiences so advertisers can get a lot more power for their money."

For example, Real Media is selling a package for the PGA Tour, which places ads on the Web sites of newspapers in cities hosting PGA tournaments, such as the Dallas Morning News' coverage of the Byron Nelson tournament and the Chicago Sun Times' coverage of the Ameritech Open.

"We want to prove that there is value in that kind of buy, and we want to be No. 1 in that category," said Mr. Morgan.

Betcha didn't know: Mr. Morgan is now wearing a cast on his leg, a result of breaking his ankle during a tennis tournament at a recent National Newspaper Publishers Association meeting in Dallas, when he ran around his backhand because "it's so terrible." However, the day before, Mr. Morgan kicked a 25-yard field goal in Texas Stadium, at another NNPA event, wearing a suit and wingtip shoes.

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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