Former CEO of CBS Interactive Quincy Smith is finally taking the wraps off his new investment and advisory firm, called Code Advisors, today. Smith, who had served at CBS since 2006, oversaw the broadcaster’s digital strategy, which included some pretty big bets, such as the acquisition of CNET and the launch of CBS online video portal TV.com. Now he’s bringing that expertise to his new firm, which will seek to fill a gap in providing advisory services to digital media companies.
Joining Smith at Code Advisors are Mike Marquez, who served as the head of Corporate Development and Business Development for CBS Interactive, and Fred Davis, who was founder and senior partner of entertainment law firm Davis, Shapiro, Lewit & Hayes. According to a report by Kara Swisher, the firm is also collecting a high-profile group of advisers, including Danny Rimer of Index Ventures, former Netscape Communications CFO Peter Currie and David Golden, EVP of Steve Case’s Revolution LLC.
The new investment firm, which is headquartered in San Francisco but has offices in New York, seeks to bring some media and technology expertise back into the investment banking space, Smith said in a phone interview. “Twenty years ago, there was far less innovation and far less media, but there were four investment banks focused in the new media space. But today there really aren’t any,” he said.
The firm has already wrapped up some big-name clients, including CBS (which announced it was retaining Smith’s advisory services even before he left), Comcast and Spotify, among others. Smith said via phone that it was important to note that the group is not primarily focused on helping its clients get acquired, which is why most investment banks are called in, but to help shape their future business models.
Mike Marquez, also on the call, agreed: “The opportunity here is in blending media and technology in a way that is complementary and not cannibalistic. We’re pushing media companies to think about their business models in a new way.”
The three partners are interested in using the Internet and digital technologies as a way to extend their clients revenues in new markets. Marquez cited Vevo as a good example of a new digital entity that will help its partners to monetize assets that they previously weren’t able to. As for the types of technologies they’re looking at, Marquez said that mobile and gaming were of particular interest, as a way to extend the user experience.