Batson said that the complete integration of DDS into Mediaocean made the decision to leave a fairly comfortable one. He hastens to add that "he wasn't looking for a job either." While "old media" like radio sounds like a far cry from Batson's previous roles at Mediaocean, Batson believes that the traditional media domination of local ad sales is where he can connect the new media and old media ends of Cumulus.
The publicly traded Cumulus is generally described as a pure-play radio broadcaster with roughly 525 stations in 110 markets across the U.S., a fully-distributed programming network serving more than 4,500 affiliates nationwide and SweetJack, the local deals platform that will serve 200 U.S. markets by the end of 2012.
"I've known Cumulus for a long time," Batson said, noting that DDS and Rubicon had served traditional media companies trying to improve their online ad performance for years. "I know the advantages and the challenges that traditional media faces. Among other things, I see my role as driving the local business and connecting that to digital ad sales. Whoever can win local in this current environment is going to win big."
Atlanta-based Cumulus has 6,000 employees, 1,600 of whom are in ad sales. Batson will remain based in New York. His hiring comes after Cumulus' $2.5 billion acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting. That deal, which was struck in March, spurred Cumulus to pursue a range of strategic partnerships in content and commerce.