'Enabler' Wakshlag Steps Down As Turner Research Chief


Jack Wakshlag, one of the network TV research chiefs with real street cred, announced he is retiring as chief research officer of Turner Broadcasting at the end of the month.

Over the 12 years that he oversaw Turner’s research operations -- some of the most turbulent and redefining not just for cable TV, or even television, but media overall -- Wakshlag walked the fine line separating a delicate balance between applied and theoretical research, both debating and embracing new ideas while striving to maintain the stability of the TV audience estimates that are the basis of TV’s advertising currency.

He championed Turner to become the first TV organization to begin coding its programming in order to measure the over-the-top viewing contribution to commercials when it was still considered minuscule and insignificant by other telecasters, because he believed it was inevitable and would provide Turner with early insights and a potential competitive advantage.

Among the personal accomplishments he cited in his own internal memo to the Turner organization announcing his retirement were, in his own words: creating and promoting “concepts including digital ad load testing that gave us confidence to put our content online with full ad loads, extended home, extended screen, TOPCAT, GENUS, NCAA Cross Platform, CNN All Screen, 5 Principles of Multiscreen Engagement, Advanced Media Targeting, ROI analyses, the biggest and best promo testing data base, and outstanding program/movie estimating processes.

“All of these demonstrated innovation and thought leadership, but also on the practical reality of generating revenue and helping drive better business decisions,” he wrote, modestly characterizing himself as not being “responsible” for, but simply “an enabler” of those innovations.

No succession plans were announced.

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11 comments about "'Enabler' Wakshlag Steps Down As Turner Research Chief".
  1. Joshua Chasin from comScore , March 20, 2014 at 9:34 a.m.
    This will be the end of an era. "we're tough on our vendors," Jack told me, "but it's because we care." It's been great to have you care, Big Dawg. Best wishes.
  2. Jeff Boehme from Kantar Media , March 20, 2014 at 9:42 a.m.
    Jack, All the best - you brought a higher expectation of research value for real activation. Enjoy the next chapter!
  3. Charlene Weisler from Writer, Media Consultant: WeislerMedia.blogspot.com , March 20, 2014 at 9:45 a.m.
    Jack is irreplaceable I wish him all the best.
  4. Brian Fuhrer from The Nielsen Company , March 20, 2014 at 10:10 a.m.
    One of the best things about working in this industry is the great people you get to work with, and none are greater than Jack.
  5. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia , March 20, 2014 at 10:43 a.m.
    Jack. Don't stray too far. TV and the entire media and ad industry needs you now more than ever.
  6. Shiven Ramji from Amazon.com , March 20, 2014 at 11:17 a.m.
    Congrats and good luck Jack! You will be missed.
  7. Mike Bloxham from Frank N. Magid Associates , March 20, 2014 at 11:25 a.m.
    Jack remains one of the true giants of the media research world. Not only a gifted and insightful researcher but a pragmatic but far-sighted business leader. He's also blessed with a big heart. Like many, many others, I consider myself privileged to have collaborated with him. I hope to do so again. All the best for everything Big Man!
  8. Tim Sullivan from Wendy's , March 20, 2014 at 12:39 p.m.
    Jack was a college professor of mine at Indiana University. It has been a true treat to follow his accomplishmments in the business. He is certainly one of the reasons why I chose media as a career. Best of luck, Jack!
  9. Tim Brooks from consultant , March 20, 2014 at 4:46 p.m.
    Ah Jack, one of my true heroes in the business. More than anything I admire the research integrity you've always shown. I do hope you'll "hang around" the business for a while, even while stepping away from the day-to-day turmoil of running a major research operation. All the best.
  10. Bruce Rosenblum from Warner Bros. , March 20, 2014 at 8:39 p.m.
    Jack, thanks for saying "YES" in 1995 when you left CBS to head up Research for the WB Network. Everyday since, you have been a mentor, friend and brother! I wish you all the best as you begin the next chapter of your life...I can't imagine how you will top the previous chapters, but I know you will find a way. All the best to you and your family..."love ya buddy!"
  11. Jack Wakshlag from Turner Broadcasting , March 22, 2014 at 10:47 a.m.
    Can so many smart people be so wrong? Seriously, these comments are deeply appreciated.