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HRTS Member Profile: Lori O’Connor

Lori O'Connor Headshot

Lori O’Connor

Lori O’Connor is the Publisher of TV Guide Magazine. I recently had a chance to interview Lori to discuss audience fragmentation, Netflix and New York.

 Q: Can you tell us about your background and what made you want to work in entertainment?
-I began my career in media planning at an ad agency. Focusing mainly on CPG marketing, I transitioned from planning, to marketing and then, ultimately, sales. A pop-culture junkie, I always envisioned working within the entertainment space, but it wasn’t until I received the opportunity to work at TV Guide Magazine that that goal was realized. TV Guide Magazine had been my bible growing up and was such an icon within the television space that I couldn’t wait to become a part of the team. During my tenure at the magazine, I’ve been fortunate enough to help shape the evolution of the brand and its position as THE television authority in print.

Q: How did you first get involved with the HRTS?
-Although I’m based in New York, I became involved with HRTS once I started splitting my time between NY and LA. Not only was being a member a great opportunity to network with other industry professionals, but to learn about trends, challenges and opportunities within the entertainment landscape.

Q: What is a favorite memory from your career thus far?
-As a television junkie, my favorite memory (selfishly) has revolved around meeting and collaborating with some of the biggest powerhouses in television entertainment.   Still, the first time I needed to “pinch” myself (as a reminder that this was actually my job) was at an annual event that we host honoring Emmy nominated producers.  Forget the fact that I was surrounded by the geniuses responsible for some of the most beloved shows on TV.  I found myself drinking wine, swapping stories and book club recommendations with some of the smartest, funniest and most talented female producers and writers in the business.  I truly have the coolest job.

Q: What is the TV Guide Magazine brand?
-Celebrating 60 years as America’s most trusted television authority, TV Guide Magazine is the premier source for news, guidance and information about all things television. With endless hours of programming available anytime and anywhere, we cut through the clutter to help our 12 million weekly readers decide what’s worth watching.  We also offer sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes looks at broadcast, cable, syndicated and online programming.

Q: What are some of the ways in which TV Guide Magazine has adapted to the
on-demand era?
-As I mentioned, TV Guide Magazine’s mission is to help our millions of readers determine what’s worth watching. In an age where the “how,” when,” and “where” is in question, our job is to help people navigate through the thousands of choices they have to help make their viewing experience as easy and entertaining as possible. Given the mass fragmentation and availability of content, there has never before been MORE of a need for TV Guide Magazine than there is today.

Q: How are ad sales and positioning strategies affected by the entry of new players such as Netflix and Amazon?
-Editorially, we’re about all things television and guiding our readers through the countless viewing options available to them in the ever-changing landscape. With companies like Netflix and Amazon now aggressively entering the content space, a trusted publication like TV Guide Magazine provides valuable insight on new programming. From an ad sales standpoint, we tailor all of our advertising and marketing opportunities so that our partners can best interact and engage with our readers’ unique use of the magazine. We know that they read it cover-to-cover and then refer back to it multiple times throughout the week. The reality is that our readers use TVGM to determine what, how, when and where to watch.

Q: How do you see the television business changing over the next few years?
-I believe that content – good content – will continue to fuel television’s growth. That fragmentation will continue and that everyone (TVGM included) needs to continually evolve to adapt to the viewers’ expectations and demands, realizing that habits will continue to shift and that the anytime/anywhere strategy for viewing will grow in demand.


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