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Trish Jones: Out of Sight Oversight

Trish Jones, Turner Broadcasting’s chief emerging technologies officer, oversees everything from apps for Turner’s cable networks to making sure that March Madness is available across as many platforms as possible to implementing Time Warner’s TV Everywhere initiative.

TV Everywhere is Jones’ (and Turner’s) top priority right now, she says. The initiative can be called the cable industry’s take on technologies such as Slingbox: it allows a cable subscriber to access their cable subscription anywhere (as long as there is wireless Internet or cell phone service), whenever they want. Using TV Everywhere is easy; implementing it is hard.

“I oversee all of our digital and technical teams and infrastructure,” Jones says. “That includes Websites, mobile, wireless as well as the advertising teams and the infrastructure that supports them. I handle all of the forward-facing technologies for the company versus the back-end broadcast systems. TV Everywhere basically touches on all of those areas. We are delivering new products in the digital realm to complement what we provide on-air. That’s served up a whole host of new infrastructure challenges that we didn’t have before.”

While much of Jones’ time is spent on TV Everywhere, she has her hands in almost every cool technology in the TV industry these days. “We have to be where consumers are,” she says. “There’s a du jour evolution going on. We want to lead and pivotally participate in that.”

Jones has plenty of experience in managing technology teams, but that’s not where she got her start. She’s a lawyer by training, but much of her legal career overlapped with technology. After graduating from the University of Richmond with a law degree, she joined Atlantabased Powell, Goldstein, Frazer and Murphy in the corporate and technology practice group from 1989- 92. From there, she went to Anacomp from 1992-96, where she was senior intellectual property and international counsel. She then went to Coca-Cola, where she held business and legal positions until 2000.

Jones joined Turner in 2000, starting out as senior VP of strategic audience solutions and then moving up to become deputy general counsel, then executive VP and general counsel. While she is well-schooled in technology, she’s also sure to employ top-notch technologists to help Turner reach its goals. And Turner is serious about that: The company currently is running a “100 in 100” initiative, with the goal of hiring 100 new engineers and programmers in 100 days.

“I have consumed, read, listened and learned more in the last three years of my career than I could have ever imagined,” says Jones. “The truth is you can’t do any of this without a very talented team.”

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.