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Grushow Heads to MediaLink

Former Fox TV president will be chief creative officer for branded entertainment company founded by media agency guru Michael Kassan

Former Fox Television Entertainment Group chairman Sandy Grushow has joined media-advisory firm MediaLink as chief creative officer.

Grushow, the former Fox network television architect, will be spearheading the creation of branded entertainment for MediaLink clients including Microsoft, AT&T, Unilever, General Electric, MySpace and GlaxoSmithKline.

Grushow will be working for Michael Kassan, who before founding the bicoastal MediaLink in 2004 was president and vice chairman of Madison Avenue’s Initiative Media Worldwide and Western International Media.

“It’s absolutely critical right now for brands and their media agencies to find new and innovative ways to communicate with consumers,” Grushow told TheWrap. “Sometimes that will involve partnering with the Hollywood creative community, but frequently it will not."

After leaving Fox in 2007, Grushow founded Filmaka, an online community of writers and filmmakers focused on branded content. Among the company’s projects was a series of short films that automaker Ford used in 2008 to advertise its Mustang.

“They cut those films down to 60-second spots and ran them inside ‘Knight Rider,’” Grushow explained. “There’s an example of an advertiser that spent less than half a million dollars to create an hour of content.”

Grushow is best known for building the Fox network brand in the early 1990s, spearheading the development of programs including “The Simpsons,” “In Living Color” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

“Sandy’s pioneering background in creating and executing marketing and branding strategies, combined with his expertise in content creation and familiarity with both Hollywood and Madison Avenue, is a perfect fit for what we are trying to accomplish at MediaLink,” Kassan said in a statement. “Content is inseparable from strategy in the communications ecosystem of today, and content creators like Sandy, who understand the dynamics of marketing, are indispensible to success.”