Turner Classic Movies6/20/2004 08:00:00 PM Eastern
Executive vice president/general manager
Senior vice president, promotion
Senior vice president, marketing
It's one thing to have a job and say enjoy your work. If you work for Turner Classic Movies, though, you had better love
Tom Karsch, executive vice president and general manager, is passionate about classic-movies. It's not that he doesn't like contemporary movies, mind you; it's just that he considers movie classics, well, art.
"At TCM, we believe that classic movies matter," he says. "With that as our guidepost, we make sure that everyone at the network rallies around this ideology in their day-to-day activities. If film is the art form of the 20th century, then we certainly become the keeper of that cultural history."
With that core philosophy, branding and promotion follow fairly seamlessly. "We have built a solid brand for an audience with a single-minded focus," Karsch says. "It allows us to package and present product that makes sense to the audience."
TCM promotions run on all Turner networks with the exception of the Cartoon Network. For TCM's biggest annual event, "31 Days of Oscar," and its highly regarded "Essentials" series of films, separate campaigns were created, utilizing the respective video trigger-cuts with paparazzi-style clips of classic movies. For 31 Days, the voice-over message makes two simple promises to viewers: "The biggest achievement in filmmaking: The best awarded and nominated films."
For the return of TCM's The Essentials this spring, the promotion featured a compilation of video and sound bites from classic films, with the voice-over tease: "Everyone has a favorite film, line, director's style."
Karsch was vice president of sports marketing and network promotion for TNT after joining the network in 1991 as director of marketing.
As senior vice president of marketing and enterprises, Katherine Evans oversees not only marketing but also the network's presence in other media, through licensing and merchandising with a focus on off-channel consumer products, including publishing and collectibles.
Shannon Davis, who used to be vice president and creative director for both TCM and TCM Europe, is now senior vice president of promotions and original production. She works with long-range planning for the network's short-form and long-form original productions.
Evangelism plays a part in the job of promoting movie classics. "We feel we have a bigger purpose in life: to get more people to appreciate the classics," Karsch says.
He's always watching one in his office. Oh, and FYI: One of his favorite lines is from The Godfather, a favorite movie: "Leave the gun. Take the cannolis."