Patrick Donoghue, an award-winning cable and programming exec vet who last headed up user experience efforts for Cablevision Systems’s Optimum product line, has left the operator to start up a digital-focused consulting company called Next Stop Willoughby Inc.
The aim of Donoghue’s new company is to consult with the cable and entertainment on digital media strategies and new product development.
When contacted about the new endeavor, Donoghue said via email: “I am focused on merging art and technology to create emotional connections with the user and diving deep into the emerging space between storytelling, video games, VR and filmmaking to create new and innovative experiences. After spending my early years as a cinematographer/editor and helping the industry establish the web and interactive television, I am ready to combine that knowledge to invent a new type of digital entertainment.”
As for that company name, it’s seemingly a playful homage to an episode from The Twilight Zone (“A Stop at Willoughby,” and apparently one of Rod Serling’s favorites) about Gart Williams, an “ad agency exec” who’s in a “desperate search for survival” (watch the whole episode on Vimeo).
Following a stint at Time Warner Cable to head up that MSO’s interactive television strategy, Donoghue returned to Cablevision in 2008 as senior vice president of strategic product development, and most recently served as SVP, user experience and emerging products. Cablevision, which is in the process of being acquired by Altice Group, has not announced who is succeeding Donoghue, who also served in exec roles at Showtime, Viacom and Extend Media, and, in the late 1990s, cofounded ITV specialist Big Band Media.