jackmyers.com
Free ContentFor Members Only
HOME MEDIAVILLAGE.com WOMEN ADVANCING HOOKED UP MEMBERSHIP INFO MEMBER COMPANIES MEDIA BUSINESS REPORT ECONOMIC FORECASTS RESEARCH
Home > JackMyersThinkTank > Honoring Bill Koenigsberg: Mentor and Philanthropist

Honoring Bill Koenigsberg: Mentor and Philanthropist

October 16, 2012
Bill Koenigsberg

Published: October 16, 2012 at 01:38 PM GMT
Last Updated: October 15, 2012 at 01:38 PM GMT

This Thursday October 18, Horizon Media CEO and Founder Bill Koenigsberg will receive the IRTS Mentorship Award at the IRTS Hall of Mentorship dinner at the Pierre Hotel in New York, In addition to Bill, the event is honoring Dennis Swanson, president of Station Operations for Fox Television Stations; Cox Media Group; and TiVo. In October, 2003 when Horizon, now an almost $4 billion company, was approaching $1 billion in billings, I met with Bill for Lunch at Michael's. Following is an updated version of my interview.

Bill Koenigsberg went to college at the University of Miami expecting to become a professional tennis player. He had trained in Port Washington with the legendary Harry Hopman, along with Vitas Gerulaitis and other future greats, was runner-up in the New York State singles competition and won the junior doubles championship at 17. But he muses, "I was passionate about tennis but I injured my ankle. Once I found other things at college to occupy myself, it was tough to dedicate myself to the sport again."

As a marketing major, he was involved in a statewide Florida advertising competition for the American Heart Association. No one else volunteered to be media director, so Bill took on the responsibility. "I did a primary research project interviewing people outside of supermarkets," he recalls, "and came up with some innovative ideas about media placement connected to eating schedules and habits. We came in second statewide. It was my first entry into the world of advertising."

Today, Bill owns and runs the world's largest private, fully independent media specialist organization, Horizon Media, which he founded in 1989 and has built to nearly a $4 billion company with over 800 employees and has grown its Global Columbus network to 40 countries and 80 territories around the globe. Bill came to New York after graduating college in the mid-1970s, but quickly learned that "it was nearly impossible to break into the ad world. An MBA degree was required just to get an entry-level position, and media departments required applicants to take an intensive math exam. I was awful in math," he admits.

His sister "was dating someone, who knew someone, who knew someone else who worked at the legendary media buying service Ed Libov & Associates." Bill got a job as a trainee for $8,500 in annual salary, although he admits he did not even know what a media buying service was at the time. "I figured I would get my foot in the door and then move over to the 'real' world," he laughs. But he stayed for eight years and when Libov passed away suddenly in 1981, Bill was one of the management team that ran the organization for another three years.

When Virginia based Media General opened a New York office to expand its barter media operation, they brought in Bill to manage it. While the company was successful, Wall Street pressures required that Media General shed its non-core assets, and Bill made a successful bid to take over the company. At the time, media departments had not yet unbundled from their parent agencies, media buying services like MBS, SFM, DeWitt, and Western International were slowly gaining marketplace credibility, and Bill believed there was tremendous upside for independent media buying operations. What he did not expect was a major recession, nor did he expect one of his largest clients to declare bankruptcy and leave him with a $1.5 million dollar media obligation. "The first few years were incredibly difficult, but my competitors started to be acquired, and the future as an independent looked excellent."

As a company, Horizon has given to over 60 different charities in 2011, with total contributions approaching close to $1 million dollars. Bill sits on the Board of City Harvest, The Partnership at Drugfree.org, International Radio and TV Society and the 4A's. Horizon Media manages pro-bono work for City Harvest, The Partnership at Drugfree.org and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Every year, Horizon Media sends a team of 20 employees to El Salvador with Habitat for Humanity to participate in building new homes for families in need. Bill is a strong supporter of the Wayuu Taya Foundation and has a school house named after him in Venezuela which he helped to build.

There is no better example that showcases Bill, then when he responded to a story on 60 Minutes that aired on November 27, 2011 called: Hard Time Generation, about families living in cars in central Florida. The piece interviewed families who were negatively impacted by the economy – parents who lost their jobs, without any savings left and unable to provide for their children; families forced to live in cars or on the street, bouncing from one unknown to the next, without a plan to get back on their feet. After watching this piece, Bill was determined to house at least one family, the Metzgers -- Ariel, Austin, the Dad and their dog, Lord have Mercy, who were living in their truck. The family is now living in a three bedroom house, walking distance to the children's school and with a backyard for their Great Dane to roam free. His efforts provided safety for the Metzger's and he gave them hope and a brighter outlook for their future.

Whether its tennis as a young man, his marriage and children, Horizon Media and its employees, or his pro bono work, passion is the common denominator in all of Bill's commitments. For information on the IRTS dinner and to purchase tickets visit http://irtsfoundation.org/hall-of-mentorship.html or call Joyce Tudryn at (212) 867-6650, ext. 11.

add this social bookmark link

0 Comments
Post a Comment










Commentary Archives

June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014

See all Archived Material

MediaVillage.com

Elon Musk: The Edison/Tesla//Ford of the Digital Age -- Part 2
In Part 1 of this report, I looked at the transformations Elon Musk is bringing to the automotive, battery and energy businesses.

The Amazon Effect
“For many businesses, Amazon is simultaneously a sales channel, a potential service provider and a competitive threat.” – Forrester Research

“TREotM”: The Early Eighties and the Rise of Cable
Chapter 10, Part 6

Kim Kardashian, Al Gore and Sting – All in a Week’s Work at Cannes
It’s exactly 900 meters from the Hotel Martinez to the Hotel Majestic Barriere along the Cannes Croisette. In normal conditions it’s a 10 minute stroll but the Cannes Lions are anything but normal conditions. Forty-five minutes is a safe estimate as you greet half the people you have ever met, are greeted by people who seem to think they have met you and share brief exchanges with any number of people who are looking over your shoulder in the hope that someone more interesting comes into view. (Note: That’s a drone’s-eye view of the author of this column up top.)

Emmy Awards 2015: And the Nominees Should Be … (Part 1)
The process of determining this year’s Emmy nominees has begun, and we won’t know the results until the official announcement on July 16 from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

The New Normal for Online Shopping
What would you do to get a great deal online? Turns out that it's quite a lot, especially if you're a Millennial.

Dear Media: We Hoaxed You! Love, Taylor Swift and Apple Music
Was the Taylor Swift / Apple Music dust up nothing more than a premeditated hoax?

OTT w/ TiVo! Can Wi-Fi Trump Cellular?
Oh, Roamio, wherefore art thou? That’s something more cable operators (MSOs) as well as other internet service providers (ISPs) might be asking TiVo CEO Tom Rogers about. TiVo’s Roamio OTA is a set-top-box that acts as a digital video recorder for off-the-air broadcast stations. Rogers goes a lot further than just telling MSOs they can dodge retransmission fees: He suggests cable just get out of the video business and cede “TV” to over-the-top players. (Or, just go national OTT with current and/or altered bundles; can’t tell me the major MSOs haven’t run business scenarios to do just that.)

TED Women 2015: A Man's Eye-View
This year's TED Women Conference was my 20th TED and my first TED Women, where I was one of a handful of male attendees.

Stuart Elliott: When the News Makes News
The Brian Williams story continues, and with it, ever more to ponder.

"TREotM": The Seventies (with Coax)
Chapter 10, Part 5

Who Controls the Digital Eco-System?
Ever since the first man clicked on the first ever online ad, and the first blogger penned the first essay on all that’s wrong with everything digital, one question has under-pinned much of the discussion and debate. Who’s in charge?

The "Polbuzz" is Building: PBS’ "Poldark" is a Summer Sensation
A best in show has emerged from television’s busiest summer ever. The distinction may strike some as improbable during the season in which popcorn entertainment generally rules. This fine program has nothing to do with aliens, zombies, cops or killers. It is a first-class remake of a historical drama from the Seventies that probably sounds like a snooze. And while such declarations are generally a matter of individual taste, from where I sit it’s more entertaining than anything else on broadcast, cable or stream right now.

ARF Rocks Research World with Measurement Mandate
This year’s ARF Audience Measurement Conference, a top research-oriented conference, focused two of its 2 ½ days on the challenges in cross platform measurement. Cross platform continues to be a major initiative of an industry that has historically focused predominantly on television. But the days of linear TV dominating the discussion and the historical buying and selling of spots and dots is just about over.

Sold-Out ARF Conference Incites Industry Action
“Who sells out a research conference?” asked Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) CEO and President Gayle Fuguitt to the, yes, sold-out audience at the Foundation’s recent Audience Measurement Conference held at the sleek Conrad Hotel in Manhattan’s Battery Park City.

Click Here for Membership Information