Canoe Taps Pizzurro To Drive Dynamic VOD Ad Effort

Canoe Ventures has hired Chris Pizzurro, formerly in charge of Turner Sports and Entertainment digital ad sales, as vice president of product strategy and business development to spearhead the launch of the cable industry's first multiple-operator product for dynamically serving ads in video-on-demand.

Pizzurro started with Canoe in mid-February and is based in New York. Canoe has previously said it would conduct pilot tests of dynamic ad insertion for VOD with multiple cable programmers in 2011 but has not provided additional details.

Canoe was formed in 2008 by the six largest U.S. cable operators -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks. Its first product, which debuted last fall, provides interactive overlays on top of 30-second spots, to let viewers request more information or product samples by mail from an advertiser.

Most recently Pizzurro has been a principal with Leap Media Group, which performs media planning and execution for digital TV advertising on behalf of midsize TV agencies, digital agencies and promotional agencies. He also has provided sales strategy and implementation consulting for clients including Time Warner Inc.'s investment group, RipeTV, Rovi and Interactivation.

Before Leap, Pizzurro was vice president of partner relations for Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Ad Sales, encompassing display and video web ads, VOD, interactive TV and mobile ads across all Turner sports and entertainment brands, including NASCAR, PGA and NBA, as well as TBS, TNT, TruTV, Cartoon Network and AdultSwim. Prior to Turner, Pizzurro founded VisionMedia of NY, which consulted, produced and executed computer-based sales presentations for clients including IBM, American Express, Bravo and CMT.

Pizzurro is a member of the on-demand committees of both the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing and the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau. He also is treasurer of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' New York chapter and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.