Q&A Interview with Colleen Fahey Rush, MTV Networks

Colleen Fahey Rush is the EVP Strategic Insights and Research for MTV Networks. Her background includes broadcast at CBS Owned and Operated Stations, Hispanic television at Telemundo and agency research at J Walter Thompson. She is currently overseeing all of MTV Networks research which is cable and multi-platform.

There are six videos in this interview on a range of subjects from research quality, Logo’s Gay and Lesbian Research, the new CIMM set top box initiative, the future of TV, multi-platform, past trends, future predictions and the Role of Research at MTV Networks. Please view all the videos here:

Video                        Length in minutes
Background                   1:15
Research Changes         3:45
Predictions                    1:46
Logo                             1:45
CTAM                          1:05
Research Quality          4:15

Colleen Fahey Rush of MTV Networks discusses her extensive research background which spans broadcast, Hispanic, agency and cable, multi-platform. This video is 1:15 minutes long.

CW: One of the themes that I have noticed in a range of interviews is the subject of research quality. There are so many research studies out there. Some are of excellent quality and some are maybe a little more seat of the pants. How do you maintain the quality of your research and how do you address the issue of research quality?

CF R: That is a good question and I think the ARF is doing an online research quality event very soon. That was also the very first panel that we had in the CTAM Research Conference back in April 2009. It is a hot topic because I think a lot of people just think all online research is the same and it’s not. How those panels come to be, whether they are self selected or emailed to come in, there are all different kinds of ways that absolutely drive the quality of them. Certainly when we put together a rfp (request for proposal) and we have discussions with our potential vendors about they create their panels, that is an important step for us and one that we always take just as part of our process here. We also issue a rfp to at least three vendors. We don’t automatically use the same vendor again and again and again. So we are availing ourselves of how new ideas are coming to the fore. We are big fans of qualitative research but we never do it in a vacuum. We always also do a piece of rigorous quant so that the qualitative is in essence bringing the quantitative to life... I am really glad that research quality is getting the attention that it is right now.

Colleen Fahey Rush of MTV Networks discusses research trends, CIMM set top box initiative and some of her current projects. This video is 3:45 minutes long.

CW: As EVP of Strategic Insights and Research, what would you say is the most dramatic change in the industry in the past five years?

CF R: It’s been a heck of a five years! I would say social networks, DVRs and online video are definitely the top three things that have exploded or evolved or all of the above in the past five years, that have really changed the ways that consumers watch what they are watching but also really relate to it and communicate around it and share it. So I think that, compared to five years ago when for your favorite show all you could do was watch it, now you can interact with it in many, many ways and I just think that has changed the overall business dramatically.

Colleen Fahey Rush of MTV Networks discusses her predictions for the next five years and the future of tv. This video is 1:46 minutes long.

CW: Among all of your networks you have Logo which targets the Gay and Lesbian market. In looking for research on the Gay and Lesbian market it is not as ubiquitous as other niche groups. Do you do any kind of specialty research for Logo? How do you approach the sales position of Logo with the dearth of actual available data?

CF R: That’s a really good question and we basically had to take matters into our own hands because there is no syndicated data out there to work with to help us position the network or explain this audience or segment it or whatever so we have really just done it ourselves. And we’ve done a couple of different studies to portray and segment the Gay and Lesbian market for ourselves, for our programmers and for our advertising partners. And it’s been very well received. They are happy to learn what we have learned along the way.

CW: In terms of segmentation, of that cohort, are there many different segments?

CF R: Sure. Yes. I don’t know the names of them that was actually a fantastic study. We’ve got an older Gay and Lesbian market that it was a really big deal for them to come out when they did. Then there is a younger segment. It wasn’t really a big deal for them to come out and so their self identity in a way is a bit different. It’s not all about being gay the way it might be for some of the older segments. But it deserves a full blown version of that presentation because it is really interesting.

Colleen Fahey Rush of MTV Networks discusses Logo and MTV's efforts in Gay and Lesbian research to better understand that population segment. This video is 1:45 minutes long.

CW: Colleen, you are currently a member of the CTAM Research Committee and you were the co-chair of the 2009 Research Conference Planning Committee. Can you tell us a bit about your work with CTAM and the value of the organization?

CF R: Yes, my pleasure. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom back in April and it was a terrific conference. I got to work on that with Horst Stipp (SVP NBCU) and it was a terrific experience. I think that I have a new appreciation for what it is like to put a conference together and working on all the different panels, keynote speakers. I think it is a terrific group of researchers because we all have this commonality that we are in the cable space and that has different, unique truisms and challenges to it. And it is a terrific sense of community that I have when I am at that conference either as the co-chair or just in attendance. It’s a great group of people.

Colleen Fahey Rush of MTV Networks discusses CTAM. This video is 1:05 minutes long.

Colleen Fahey Rush of MTV Networks discusses research quality and the role of research in her company. This video is 4:15 minutes long.

No comments:

Post a Comment