Catherine Balsam-Schwaber has left her post as a senior marketing exec at MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) to take on a similar role at NBC Universal’s iVillage. This is the second big hire for iVillage within the past two months. In September, publishing vet Joe Lagani defected from Glam Media to head up ad sale for iVillage. All this activity comes as the womens content site has completed its latest redesign, which included revamped food and entertainment channels.
This is a new post and is part of iVillage’s recent attempt to refocus the brand, which has undergone several overhauls since being acquired by NBCU for $600 million three years ago. In her new post as iVillage’s SVP of Marketing, Balsam-Schwaber will work on brand strategy and on forging cross-media partnerships across NBCU. Until Women@NBC was formed as the network’s first female-focused ad network, there were few cross-platform synergies to speak of for iVillage.
Now that all those parts are in place, iVillage’s execs will have little excuse if the site doesn’t capitalize on all the related content that’s available to it. So far, the combination of network sites have pushed up traffic across iVillage’s sites to 30 million last month, according to comScore (NSDQ: SCOR). While the individual iVillage site is a lot smaller, to advertisers, being able to promise the kind of reach is particularly important right now.
In the case of MTVN, Balsam-Schwaber’s decision to leave earlier this month counts as the second high-profile departure since Nada Stirratt exited as EVP for Digital Advertising in October to join MySpace as its chief revenue officer. An MTVN rep said there no immediate replacement for Balsam-Schwaber, who had been with the Viacom unit since 2004.