Monday, September 17, 2007, 8:52 PM ET|Posted by Will RichmondIMG announced today that former HBO boss Chris Albrecht is joining IMG as head of its Global Media unit, suggesting that big things are in store for the company.
I've had a fair amount of exposure to IMG over the past couple of years through Greg Fawcett, their VP Biz Dev. Greg and I met some time ago, and I've had the pleasure of having him on a couple of industry panels I've moderated.
When I started learning more about IMG I realized it is really the hidden jewel of the media business. The company has been steadily transforming itself from a talent firm to a full-fledged multi-platform video production powerhouse under the Forstmann ownership.
They produce over 10,000 hours of programming annually across every major category. They have an enormous library of video assets waiting to be monetized. And they have relationships with everyone in the sports, media, advertising and entertainment industries, all of which will only be enhanced under Albrecht.The key to their future success will be leveraging all this great content across broadband and mobile platforms. Ironically, despite HBO's prowess, these were weak spots for the company. Watching all the cable nets closely over the last several years, HBO's been a noticeable laggard, particularly compared to its premium channel brethren, Starz and Showtime. For Albrecht to fully realize IMG's potential, he'll need far more emphasis on these areas than was shown at HBO. I'm betting we'll see it.