USA TODAY Poaches Former CBS Interactive Digital Exec

USA TODAY VP of Digital Mark Kortekaas

USA Today’s revamp of its Sports Media Group executive ranks continued this week, as it poached former BBC online technology group general manager and CBS Interactive senior vice president and CTO Mark Kortekaas.

At USA TODAY, Kortekaas will be senior vice president of digital.

USA TODAY Sports Media Group president Tom Buesse said in a statement:

“Mark has unique, battle-tested experience in developing platforms that provide a first-class digital offering for sports fans. He’s exactly the right person to help us build out a digital architecture that will present and deliver our content in the most engaging, user-friendly and relevant ways possible.”

The move continues the reshuffle of USA TODAY’s Sports Media Group.

In November, former Yahoo! executive Dave Morgan was named senior vice president and editor-in-chief, and former IMG Sports and Entertainment VP of sales Peter Lazarus was named senior vice president and head of multimedia sales, according to an earlier Mobile Sports Report article.

USA TODAY is expected to be a logical candidate to develop mobile applications that leverage its established brand, and provide consumers with advanced Fantasy Sports options, including the ability to switch players during games. In the gaming industry this is called “in-running,” and Mobile Sports Report has coined the name “In-running Fantasy Sports.”

Created in January, USA TODAY is a crucial element to the future of the media company. It manages the sports content of 81 daily media properties, 23 broadcast television stations, and HighSchoolSports.net, BNQT.com and MMAjunkie.com.

A laggard in recent years, USA Today’s new team faces the challenge of catching up to and then eclipsing the mounting competition.¬†Such traditional competitors as ESPN, which is highly innovative in the mobile arena, and such upstarts as Bleacher Report and SBNation have outpaced the company in digital development.

However, there is a big market opportunity that nearly everyone in the industry is eyeing. Yahoo! Sports, which is still No. 1 in Fantasy Sports services, appears to be slipping with uncertainty in its executive ranks and the potential sale of parts of the company. If it begins to lose market share, USA Today and others could benefit.

 

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