At yesterday’s Annenberg Innovation Lab Crunch Lunch, students heard from Tony Novia, Executive Vice President of New Media and Business Development at Ryan Seacrest Productions. Tony gave a broad overview of his career, the role of Ryan Seacrest productions in the contemporary media environment and provided advice for students interested in pursuing a career at the confluence of media and technology.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Miami, Tony journeyed into radio and eventually established a new station. After a successful run, Tony moved to Atlanta and helped establish the “adult hit radio format” at Star FM. In Atlanta, Tony met “a talented and driven young kid by the name of Ryan Seacrest.” Seacrest joined the Star FM team while still in high school.
Tony later went on to work at Vivendi Universal as the VP of International. “Vivendi is the largest music label in the world,” said Tony. “My job was to look at the most successful American albums and find ways to repackage them for foreign markets with maximum success.”
During his travels for Vivendi, Tony became fascinated with Asia’s advanced cellphone market. Not long after, he joined a tech startup that provided broadcast television on flip phones. After a successful run at the startup, Tony joined the team at Seacrest Productions and presided over the rapid growth of the company in the new media sector.
At Seacrest Productions, Tony has practiced a multi-faceted approach to marketing brand Seacrest as well as in acquiring new ideas for development. “We’re structured around Ryan Seacrest Talent and Ryan Seacrest Productions. On the talent side, we’re dealing with shows that Ryan appears on while on the production side, we have series such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Shahs of Sunset.”
Tony explained that Seacrest Productions brings an “innovation first” view to traditional strategic partnerships and marketing opportunities with large companies. “We’re blessed to be working with incredible brands at Seacrest Productions; to that end, we want to create opportunities across multiple platforms for our partners to benefit,” said Tony.
Seacrest Productions has also made extensive use of their partnerships to bring awareness to the various charities sponsored by Ryan Seacrest, such as Operation Smile. Tony pointed out that “Seacrest Productions has been having a highly successful run on the anti-text and drive campaign with AT &T. Using purely organic music video-integration; we’ve managed to garner nearly six million views in just 3 weeks.”
Tony closed by returning to the topic of innovation and explaining how technology can directly drive entertainment. He referred to a new show that Seacrest Productions is currently working on that utilizes Draw Something, a popular mobile app. “People tend to think of things in silos and we try not to do that at Seacrest Productions. Thinking outside the box has led us to this new show because we saw the popularity of Draw Something and realized there was actually something there.”