The Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) announced Friday that Steve Lanzano has been named President, effective January 1, 2010, succeeding Chris Rohrs, who had announced plans to step down at the end of this year after 10 years in the post. Lanzano currently serves as COO of MPG US, where he oversees all client accounts and operations of the advertising agency.
“The TVB Board and members are extraordinarily grateful to Chris Rohrs for his years of tireless service in advocating for local television and wish him every success in his future endeavors. Local television broadcasting is at an inflection point today given the simultaneous convergence, consolidation and development of media platforms and channels. This environment is creating both challenges and new opportunities for television broadcasters. With his background deeply rooted in the advertising industry and nearly three decades of success, we are pleased to have attracted an executive of Steve’s caliber as the President of the TVB as we are confident he is uniquely qualified to lead the TVB and its members to further position local television as the dominant, most effective medium for advertisers and agencies,” said TVB Chairman of the Board Frank Comerford of NBC Local Media.
“Bottom line is I’m there to sell TV. TV works — somebody has got to be out there saying TV rings the cash register; TV gets people into the door. With all of the naysayers out there, TV still works. TV is always the #1 medium wherever you are in the purchase funnel. TV is always the #1 source of word-of-mouth, and I’m going to be out there selling that!” Lanzano told RBR-TVBR.
Coming from the advertising side, Lanzano has spent his career on the other side of the desk in negotiations, which he believes will help him in his new role. “28 years—a long time! I know strategically how media plans are put together; I know how local television can fit into those plans; the multi-platforms that local TV brings down with web, mobile and multi-channel distribution. So I can bring a strategic approach to why local broadcast works. I can talk the talk of the agency side as well as the advertiser side. I can also talk on ‘why local TV’ vs. other media,” he explained.
And we learned that the TVB head-to-be does have some experience in television. “Things have a way of coming around. I did an internship at Katz Television when I was in college,” Lanzano disclosed.
We asked about the attention being paid to “new media” by advertisers, but Lanzano isn’t fazed by the competition. “When push comes to shove and at the end of the day, for the purchase funnel, do you know what the #1 source of information is? It’s television. Look at the #1 source of word of mouth – it’s television. What drives people to the Web? Television. So you know what? No one’s walking away from TV,” Lanzano insisted.
Lanzano is still working on details of his exit from MPG and wants a smooth transition, but he expects to be making the move to TVB toward the end of this year.
RBR/TVBR observation: He certainly knows the right people to present TV’s case to Madison Avenue. The upswing from the advertising recession appears to have begun. Judging by his experience and enthusiasm, Lanzano will be able to make sure television is top of mind as companies begin to ramp up their marketing to increasingly optimistic consumers.
We also like Steve’s focus and attitude on “New Media” – Challenge it head on. Steve and the TVB will have their work cut out as many in the TV as well as in Radio still have not full engaged into the Internet business by developling their local websites. Teaching local broadcasters will be vital for TV to fully complete as we enter into 2010. The attitude with experience is an excellent start. Lanzano is an excellent choice and has the support of RBR-TVBR.