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George Schweitzer has enjoyed a broad career out of a very narrow practice. He finds new ways to get people to watch more TV.
Those methods can range wide. He once tucked a paper-thin interactive video player into the pages of Entertainment Weekly so readers could sample new CBS shows. He got supermarkets to use a technology known as “Visual Ice” that would fog up freezer doors in supermarkets with tune-in information about a new CBS drama, “Moonlight.”He had logos from CBS shows laser-encoded on more than 35 million eggs to promote the network’s 2006-07 season. He did something similar the following year with wrappers tucked around turkey and ham at supermarket-deli counters. He had a hand in getting David Letterman and Jay Leno to sit down for a promo during CBS’ 2010 broadcast of the Super Bowl that made jaws drop.
Schweitzer - Departure - Mike - Benson - Schweitzer
Now Schweitzer is testing one more trick: orchestrating a departure. Mike Benson will succeed Schweitzer as the head of marketing at CBS, a transition that will see Schweitzer, who has been with CBS since 1972, take on the role of chairman of marketing at CBS and transition in the Spring into an adviser to the company.
Benson, also a veteran of the TV-marketing game, will take on more direct oversight of the business of promoting the network’s programming and defining its brand to millions of viewers in an increasingly complex era for the TV sector. Getting consumers to sample new series has always been tricky. TV executives will tell you that more than three-quarters of new programs fail. Add to that a new array of streaming-video services – and the already present panoply of cable programming – that have lured viewers away from broadcast-network fare, which has been most dependent on day-and-date viewing. The task of driving tune-in has become much...
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