Glam Taps Byron As SVP, Marketing

Glam Media on Tuesday named Jill Byron as its new senior vice president of marketing.

In this newly created role, Byron’s scope is as wide as the winter is cold. Her official responsibilities include corporate marketing, public relations and communications, marketing and client solutions, brand category development, consumer insights and analytics, and video marketing solutions.

Byron on Tuesday said her first priority is getting Glam’s sales operations in order ahead of the digital upfronts. Longer term, her goal for 2014 will be to “put Glam on the map in a much more visible way.”

In part, that likely means confronting Glam’s controversial past, including accusations of inferior ad inventory and inflated user metrics.

“Glam has always been very good at giving the impression of value, even when there is none,” one former employee recently told MediaPost on the condition that their name not be published.

In response to such criticism, Byron said: “Questions over audience data … [are] a reality for most [online media companies.]” Yet, “Glam has such significant scale, it can overcome [those questions] pretty easily,” according to her.

Glam does have scale. Indeed, the company recently ranked as the seventh-largest Web property in the country. In September, its various properties were responsible for 89 million unique visitors, according to comScore. 

Byron spent the last six years of her career as VP Marketing for CBS Interactive, where she led marketing, brand building, strategic planning and program execution across CNet and other Web properties.

At Glam, Byron will report to Dan Lagani, who only recently joined the company as its first president and chief revenue officer. Most recently president, North America, for Reader's Digest Association, Lagani previously served as group publisher of Condé Nast Bridal Group, publisher at Meredith of Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal

Among other initiatives, Glam rolled out a new program designed to foster more partnerships between brands and its network of bloggers, this past summer. The Premier Program, so-called, features an “elite” group of publishers selected from the more than 4,000 sites under Glam’s purview. The lucky publishers will become contributing editors on Glam’s owned-and-operated sites, including Glam.com, Foodie.com, Tend.com, Brash.com and Bliss.com.

Glam also recently opened its editions platform inside the Foodie Recipes app to brands and publishers. There are already editions sponsored by Godiva and Contadina, both of which have previously advertised with Glam across other channels.

The change is part of a larger strategy by Glam to give brands and publishers the ability to reach existing audiences through established mobile apps.

Prior to CBS Interactive, Byron led marketing and advertising for Chevron retail while at Y&R San Francisco.

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