In December 1998, while working for CBS New Media, I was recruited to XOOM.com, a San Francisco-based web start-up. I joined the company in January 1999, just a few weeks after its initial public offering.
I worked in the New York sales office as the Manager of Client Marketing. XOOM, a web site hosting and email services company was then one of the most popular sites on the web. I wrote and produced sales collateral and developed presentations for the company’s sales team.
These were the go-go days of the web, prior to the dot com bust of 2001, and XOOM was a publicly traded company. We experienced exponential growth, and radical changes, during my two-year tenure.
In May 1999, NBC exploded onto the web scene by creating NBC Internet (known as NBCi), the first publicly traded web company affiliated with a major broadcaster. They did so by acquiring XOOM.com and merging it with SNAP.com, then one of the leading search engines (remember the commercial featuring a child who searches online for a site to help him learn sign language, so he can communicate with a deaf classmate on the school bus?).
At newly formed NBCi, I continued to write and produce marketing collateral and multimedia presentations for the ever-growing sales, investor relations, and mergers and acquisitions teams.
When NBCi launched its Interactive Neighborhood, a portal for local television affiliate stations (similar to CBS New Media’s CBSnow) in January 2000, I became the company’s manager of affiliate relations.
In this role, I managed with 200+ local TV stations and published our affiliate intranet. Despite numerous challenges, my team doubled affiliate participation by educating stations on local Web content opportunities, resulting in enhanced content distribution, site traffic and ad sales.
The collapse of NBCi was as fast and spectacular as its rise. When I joined XOOM.com in January 1999, I was employee number 60. At its largest, NBCi boasted 800 staff members and had a valuation of several hundred million dollars. I survived two rounds of staff reductions, and was laid off in January 2001. By 2002, NBCi had been de-listed and sold for parts.
Following the demise of NBCi, I consulted with CBSnews.com’s sales team and assisted in the launch of the New York News Division at TechTV (now G4) while looking for a new job. In June 2001, I relocated to Columbus, Ohio and joined the Columbus Jewish Federation.