Outdoor Channel has amped its digital media, relaunching its Web site and appointing a new executive to lead its multiplatform push.
The network, which has pushed its distribution base to some 34.5 million households, named 20-year media veteran Todd Merkow as president of digital media, with responsibilities for managing and growing its online, mobile and attendant assets. Merkow, most recently president and CEO for Three Screens Media and a former executive with Fox Sports Net, will report directly to Outdoor Channel president and CEO Roger Werner.
Over the past year, Merkow had been serving as a consultant to the company, providing his acumen to Outdoor's digital strategy and the redesign of OutdoorChannel.com. Under Merkow's leadership, the site has registered significant growth, according to network officials, garnering approximately 1 million monthly unique visitors, a 136% increase in visits, and a 173% jump in page views.
Developed by Winnercomm's interactive division, the site's streamlined aesthetic makes for better usability, intuitive navigation and enhanced search capabilities. The site also now features a state-of-the-art broadband video player that enables users to watch an extensive library of thousands of videos -- the majority in high definition. OutdoorChannel.com is also home to category-leading personalities, many of whom will provide frequently updated original content to the site. In-depth Outdoor Channel show pages and a robust tool for searching the network's programming schedule complement information on state hunting and fishing licenses and destinations. Moreover, the site will include a social networking community where enthusiasts can share tips, photos, videos and stories.
"OutdoorChannel.com has played an integral role in our growth and engagement with viewers. As a veritable one-stop-shop for the great outdoors, the relaunch will make it easier for our fans to connect with Outdoor Channel, our talent and other outdoor enthusiasts around the country," said Werner in a statement. "Our popular content and strong nationwide brand provides an excellent framework to build new digital initiatives that serve our audiences, partners and advertisers. With a seasoned professional like Todd at the helm, our digital media efforts will keep Outdoor Channel competitive in this dynamic marketplace."
Attendees of the 2010 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference (SHOT Show) can stop by booth 11227 for a preview of Outdoor's revamped site.
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