Times Mirror Multimedia

In 1994 I was approached by my former manager from Apple who was by then the Chief Technical Officer at the publishing conglomerate Times Mirror (now The Tribune Company), to be a member of the founding executive team of Times Mirror Multimedia, a new wholly-owned subsidiary devoted to developing and publishing titles for the CD-ROM market. I accepted the job as Executive Producer in September 1994.

The opportunity was interesting because after years of working on Multimedia tools I was becoming increasingly interested in working on the content side as well, and I knew that my technical expertise could be of value to the new company.

During my 10 months at TMM, I was lucky to be involved in negotiating development contracts and reviewing publishing proposals from literally dozens of the best Multimedia development studios in the country. I personally supervised the technical and content development of a number of titles in their starting and/or completion phases.

In addition to the project evaluation and management responsibilities, I had extensive technical analysis responsibility which allowed me a large conference budget to travel to Multimedia and Internet-related conferences around the country. As a result, I had an extraordinary education in industry trends and technologies that I could not have gotten any other way.

While this was a prestigious position, in the end not much came of the company. After nine months, the winds of the Internet were blowing away the remnants of the dying CD-ROM market, and the winds of change were also blowing through the executive suites of Times Mirror. A new anti-new-media CEO took over, ousted all pro-technology executives, and canceled the charter of Times Mirror Multimedia.

The bottom line: I learned a ton about the Internet, and we all got really great severance packages.