Mr. Fishman, 34, created a global brand as VP-worldwide marketing and sales for Hard Rock Cafe, and now he will try to work more magic with Tele-TV, a new entertainment and technology company formed by Bell Atlantic Corp., Nynex Corp. and Pacific Telesis.
"I'm here to start building bridges for consumers," said Mr. Fishman, who takes the new post of exec VP-marketing. "Tele-TV's goal is to build trust and relationships with consumers so we can lead them over the bridge and seamlessly integrate technology into their lives."
Mr. Fishman will spearhead an agency search as well as hiring of an internal marketing staff.
Tele-TV's mission is to create a superior cable programming package for digital TV and eventually build on that for interactive TV applications. While the venture doesn't foresee launching a cable product before 1997, by this summer it plans to create an entertainment-based Web site to build brand awareness and loyalty.
"When it comes down to it, Tele-TV is about marketing," said Sandy Grushow, the venture's president, who formerly was in charge of launching the Fox network. "If the technology isn't invisible to the consumer, then we've done something wrong. We've brought Roger aboard to make sure to get it right."
Stints at Coke, Lintas
Before joining Hard Rock Cafe in 1994, Mr. Fishman worked as a manager of entertainment marketing for Coca-Cola Co., where he developed movie tie-ins with "Hook" and "Home Alone II." Previous to that, he spent four years as VP-account supervisor with Lintas Worldwide, New York, helping resurrect Planters' Mr. Peanut and Chesebrough-Pond's Brut by Faberge brand.
"Before marketing a product, I need to understand, embrace and care about it," Mr. Fishman said. "I need to know the product from not only a marketer's perspective but from the consumer's."
He admitted to applying Cover Girl foundation to himself while working on that account and to tinting his hair while pitching a hair coloring account.
"Roger is classically trained in marketing and very analytical," Mr. Grushow said. "Yet at the same time, he strikes me as someone who has terrific creative instincts and the courage to go with his guts."