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Turner Media Taps Kager

Turner Media Group -- which sells interactive advertising and owns a stable of transactional networks -- named ad-sales veteran Chris Kager president of its Turner Advertising Group, officials said Monday.

Before joining TAG, Kager was president of the MGM/NBC Media Sales Group, responsible for ad sales for MGM and NBC Enterprises off-network series and first-run syndication programming.

Prior to that, he was president of national ad sales for Rainbow Advertising Sales Corp., where he was responsible for ad sales for Bravo, MuchMusic USA and WE: Women’s Entertainment.

Kager will be based in New York for TAG, where he will be responsible for an estimated $250 million in media sales for the group.

For the first time this year, TAG and Turner Media -- no relation to Turner Broadcasting System Inc. -- are doing upfront presentations for ad agencies and advertisers.

TAG -- the exclusive ad-sales rep for EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network -- had an upfront event set for Manhattan Monday night, with similar presentations scheduled for later this week in Chicago and Los Angeles.

The company is trying to promote its interactive-advertising platform, through which it can reach nearly 12 million Dish subscribers. By pushing a button on their remotes when an icon appears on their screens during a commercial, viewers can drill down and see longer-form video on a particular product, or be sent to a Web-like screen to find additional information, order a catalog or find the nearest retailer of the product.

Turner Media also owns a stable of networks with transactional capabilities -- services such as The Men’s Channel, Healthy Living Channel, Beauty & Fashion Channel, Resorts and Residents, iDrive, Men’s Outdoors and iShop TV.

Those networks are carried by Dish, and they have some distribution with cable operators such as Time Warner Cable, Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Bright House Networks.

Turner Media doesn’t charge distributors license fees -- rather, it gives them a share of the revenue generated via transactions from their channels.