Former Fox Ad Chief Marchese Returns To Entrepreneurism, Envisions 'New Type Of Holding Company'

Joe Marchese, former president of advertising revenue for the Fox Networks Group, Wednesday announced that his next act would be to serve as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Human Ventures, a VC firm he helped found after selling True[X] to Fox for $200 million in 2014.

“There is a chance right now to build this next generation of media technologies and a new type of holding company. This is what I will be building next,” Marchese wrote in a column on Redef Wednesday.

Human Ventures describes itself as a “startup studio.” Led by CEO Heather Hartnett, it touts a $50 million debut fund.

Since 2015, Human ventures has backed 22 startups with an estimated combined value of $150 million, including restaurant reservation system Reserve, which recently acquired Resy.



Marchese, long a proponent for reengineering the so-called “attention economy” -- originally as a regular contributor to MediaPost, and more recently during his tenure as Fox’s ad sales chief and in a series of public speeches and various op eds -- makes the case in the Redef piece that the industry is entering a new epoch in which human-based “storytelling” will win vs. Big Data, AI and technology for technology’s sake.

“The solutions that come next will represent a new age of media companies: quantified-self applications for your media habits to help you optimize your ‘attention diet’,” he writes, continuing: “New Operating Systems for recommending entertainment (aka new “TV Guide”). Technology that better values people’s attention and data. Technologies that help people better connect IRL (In Real Life).”

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