Digital Futurist Cole Joins MediaLink as Senior Adviser

USC professor has been hailed as media visionary for his work on perils, potential of digital age

Last Updated: December 8, 2009 @ 5:31 AM

USC’s Jeffrey Cole has been named a senior adviser to MediaLink LLC, chairman-CEO Michael Kassan announced Monday.

Cole is director of the Center for the Digital Future and a research professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

Advisory firm MediaLink provides counsel and strategic direction to the media, advertising, entertainment and technology industries and to companies and institutional investors that interact with those sectors.

Cole, who will continue his duties at USC Annenberg while advising the strategic advisory and business development firm, has been hailed as a media visionary for his work in examining the perils and potential of the digital age.

An expert in the field of technology and emerging media, he has been at the forefront of media and communication technology issues in both the U.S. and internationally, and has advised governments and leading companies around the world.

"Just as technology has obliterated the lines that once divided media, marketing and entertainment, academic inquiry and real-world application are also now joined at the hip," said Kassan. "Neither business nor government can build genuine relationships with customers or citizens without an in-depth understanding of the intellectual ideas that power our 21st-century, digitally enabled communications ecosystem. Jeff Cole has been thinking about and working on these issues for decades. We are lucky to have the benefit of his insight and experience — and I’m confident that our clients will feel the same way."

"Backed by 10 years of data and insights in tracking changes in both traditional media and the digital world, I look forward to working with MediaLink in advising its current and future clients," said Cole.

Before joining USC in 2004, Cole was director of the UCLA Center for Communication Policy in the university’s Anderson Graduate School of Management. He also founded and directs the World Internet Project, a long-term longitudinal look at the effects of computer and Internet technology in more than 25 countries.

In 1995, Cole worked closely with the Big Four broadcast networks under an antitrust waiver that allowed the networks to work together for the first time on TV programming issues. Meeting regularly with the CEOs, general counsels, heads of programming and others at the networks, he issued annual reports to the television industry, Congress and the nation.

Cole was a member of the Executive Committee of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) from 1997 to 2001 and was the founding governor of the ATAS Interactive Media Peer Group.