Bit Rate

That Canoe Guy? He's On Facebook

6/05/2008 4:50 AM

Cable is champing at the bit to establish a national platform for interactive TV ads, with "Project Canoe."

But first, the MSOs need to check off a few to-do items, including deciding on a name for the client-facing entity that will sell and track the ads ("canoe" doesn’t exactly shout "next-generation advertising," as Craig Moffett snarkily noted). 

And they need someone to run it.

The leading Canoe captain candidate is said to be former Aegis Media Americas CEO David Verklin, who stepped down from the media services company in April. previously reported that the MSOs had tapped Verklin to lead the project, and The New York Post last month said he’s officially signed on.

At The Cable Show, Comcast COO Steve Burke said the Canoe chief would be named the week of June 1

Meanwhile, Verklin had been scheduled to be on a panel discussion at the NCTA show — “Getting Engaged: Advertising’s Quest to Connect” — but couldn’t make it because of a personal matter, according to CAB president and CEO Sean Cunningham.

So June 2 came and went, with no announcement. Just for fun, I searched for Verklin on Facebook — and there he is

Using the site’s messaging function, I dropped him a note: Is he really the Canoe CEO? What’s the official name for this thing?

A few hours later, I got an e-mail back from… Vicki Lins, Comcast Spotlight’s senior vice president of marketing and communications in New York, explaining that she was writing "in response to your inquiry about David Verklin and the company name."

Lins said she’s unable to confirm any details at this time. "We have not yet made any announcements but expect to do so shortly," she wrote.

Here’s a suggestion for the company name: How about "Flotilla LLC"? Hmmm… maybe enough with the watercraft analogies, already.