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Why Every Company Must be a Media Company

CBS Marketwatch founder says direct consumer connection requires digital media integration

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January 20, 2011 | by Brendan Cosgrove

Listen to Larry Kramer's Crain Lecture

EVANSTON, Ill. --- On Tuesday, Jan. 18, Larry Kramer, founder of CBS MarketWatch and the first president of CBS Digital Media, was on the Northwestern University campus to discuss how dramatic changes in the media landscape are forcing companies of all kinds to integrate digital media into their businesses.

The talk, titled "“Why Every Company Has to Become a Media Company,” was part of the popular Crain Lecture Series presented by Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism

A journalist turned superstar digital entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Kramer helped CBS launch and re-launch several high-traffic websites, including CBS.com, CBSNews.com and CBSSportsLine.com. He was CEO of CBS MarketWatch for eight years before Dow Jones purchased it in 2005 for $528 million.

Launching “March Madness on Demand” (the web broadcast of the NCAA Basketball Tournament) and putting CBS TV shows online, Kramer headed the network’s effort to integrate TV and the Internet and helped foster distribution partnerships with Google, Amazon, Apple iTunes, Yahoo and Verizon.

A founding member and former chairman of The Online Publishers Association, Kramer is author of the just-released “C-Scape: Conquer the Forces Changing Business Today” (Harper Collins, 2010). The book presents case studies of media and other companies, including Apple, Netflix, GE and Proctor & Gamble, to show how businesses can survive and thrive in the digital media revolution.

A former editor of the San Francisco Examiner, Kramer spent more than 20 years in journalism as a reporter and editor, including stints at The Washington Post. At the Post, he served as assistant to Executive Editor Ben Bradlee and later as assistant managing editor and metro editor.

As a journalist, he earned the National Press Club Award, The Associated Press Award for news writing and The Gerald Loeb Award for business reporting and directed two Pulitzer Prize-winning staffs.

Kramer currently sits on the board of directors of Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA), American Media Inc., Freedom Communications Inc., Answers.com, Jib Jab Media Inc. and other organizations.

The Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture Series regularly brings journalists, newsmakers and others discussing current events and the news business to the Evanston campus. For more information on this or other Crain Lectures, call (847) 491-5401, e-mail jpgilbert@northwestern.edu, or visit http://www.medill.northwestern.edu.

Topics: Campus Life