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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Merrill Brown

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

At the moment I am building strategies for and working on the next generation of important information services. In some cases, my work focuses on products of a significant scale, although a number of things I'm working involving building niche information products that take advantage of the targeting and direct marking capabilities of digital technology. I am working on a business that will create new models for delivering information in Weblogs form to important audiences. In addition, I am concluding a large study for an international foundation about the news consumption habits of young people and what the news industry can learn from those trends.

In addition, I am working with a team of people buildilng an international wireless production company. I cannot go into great deal about that venture at this time.

The themes, however, of all my current activities revolve around the next generation of information services. These involve the capabailities of broadband, personalization, "blogging," and niche publishing.

I am eager just as I was in the early days of the Internet to be a participant in bringing the information revolution to significant numbers of people. That revolution continues and I am happy to be a part of it.

Brief Biography


Merrill Brown is the founder and principal of MMB Media LLC, which provides clients with management and strategy consulting, corporate, editorial and program development, business analysis and marketing services. Since the founding of the MMB Media, clients have ranged from companies in the news, information and wireless businesses to a large foundation. Before establishing the firm, Brown served as Senior Vice President, RealOne Services from August 2002 through August 2003 and was responsible for all facets of the RealOne programming business including programming, subscription sales, marketing, advertising sales and technology. During his tenure, RealOne expanded subscription programming offerings in news, sports, entertainment and music and grew from 750,000 paid subscribers to over 1,000,000.

Brown became the first Editor in Chief of MSNBC.com in August 1996 after serving as acting managing editor for the July launch of the service. He became Sr. Vice President in August 2000. During his tenure, the fledgling company grew to become one of the most visited news offerings on the Web, maintaining a position as the No. 1 online news provider since 1999

Prior to joining MSNBC in May 1996, Brown was a media and communications consultant whose work included strategic development work at Time Inc., NBC, U S West and a score of other media ventures (1995-96). While at Time, he served as consulting senior editor of Money magazine, developing online and Internet services for the publication. He also served as acting editor for Time Magazine Daily (the periodical's daily online news operation) and as a consulting editor for Time magazine. During that time, Brown also served as a launch consultant for NBC Desktop Video, designing the network program plan and creating the network's on-air look for NBC's business news service delivered to personal computers.

Brown was one of the initial strategists responsible for creating the Courtroom Television Network (Court TV). As a founder of the cable network, Brown worked on all facets of the network’s operation leading up to its July 1991 launch. As senior vice president, corporate & program development, he oversaw program planning, advertising, promotion, marketing, public relations and development of day-to-day management of the cable network (1990-1994).

From 1985 to 1990, Brown was editor in chief of Channels magazine, repositioning the bi-monthly as a highly successful television business monthly, tripling the amount of ad pages in three years. Channels was named a National Magazine Award finalist for general excellence during Brown's tenure.

Brown was associated with the Washington Post from 1979 to 1985, serving as a financial reporter (1979-1982), New York financial correspondent (1982-1984) and director of business development, Washington Post Company (1984-1985). Prior to that, Brown was a financial reporter at the Washington Star (1978-1979), Washington correspondent for Media General Newspapers (1975-1978), a reporter at the Winston-Salem Sentinel (1974-1975) and reporter and freelance critic at the St. Louis Post Dispatch (1973-1974).

Brown has also made numerous television appearances, including the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (1980-1990), as a regular media analyst for CNBC and FNN (1988-1990) and on dozens of other major broadcast and cable news programs. Brown serves on the board of The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, the International Women’s Media Foundation, and The Media Center, a division of the American Press Institute. He is a member of the Journalism Advisory Committee, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.