(NCTA, NEW ORLEANS, May 7, 2002) – Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. has announced that Sommer Hixson, 36, has been appointed Mag Rack's director of public relations. Mag Rack is Rainbow Media's unique video-on-demand (VOD) service delivering special interest programming that explores in-depth a wide range of topics that are unavailable elsewhere on television.
In her new role as director of public relations, Hixson will oversee all aspects of Mag Rack's media relations activity and will report to Beth Sanford, vice president of marketing for Mag Rack. Ms. Hixson was formerly responsible for consumer public relations efforts with Rainbow Media's Bravo Networks.
"Sommer's excellent performance while at Bravo Networks makes her the ideal candidate for the position at Mag Rack," said Beth Sanford, vice president of marketing for Mag Rack. "We are looking forward to having her re-join the Rainbow team with the same type of expertise at Mag Rack that helped make Bravo's programming attract consumer attention, break Nielsen ratings records and win Emmy Award nominations."
Hixson joined Rainbow in 1998 focusing her attention on consumer public relations for Bravo Networks. As senior manager, Hixson directed national consumer press campaigns for both Bravo and the Independent Film Channel (IFC). She was also instrumental in talent and event management for both channels.
Hixson most recently served as the director of media relations for PALM PICTURES/sputnik7, Chris Blackwell's multi-platform consumer entertainment company including VOD, music, film and DVD products. Her innovative publicity and marketing strategies garnered sputnik7 unprecedented trade press and the 2001 Webby Award for best music site.
Just like at a newsstand, customers can choose from Mag Rack's selection of "video magazines" that offer authoritative content about subjects that are personally relevant. Mag Rack is being marketed to cable operators, supporting the effort to rollout digital set-top boxes and drive VOD adoption by giving customers maximum programming choice and control. Video magazines available at Mag Rack include American Catholic, Art of Basketry, Best of Mag Rack, Better Golf Club, BirdSight, Classic Cars, Club Vegetarian, COOK with the PROS, Destination: Nature, History of Art, Inside Weddings, Maximum Science, Mission: Space, Modern Parent, Motorcycle Freedom, Healthy By Choice, Photography Close Up, Shakespeare, SportsCamp, Take On Life, The Bible and You, and Wine World. By the end of 2002, Mag Rack expects to offer as many as 40 video magazines.
The VOD service – available to all MSOs and currently being offered as part of Cablevision's Interactive Optimum (iO) digital cable service – is designed to support the rollout of digital set-top boxes and drive MSOs' VOD marketing initiatives by giving customers maximum programming choice and control. As a VOD service, Mag Rack enables distributors to use advanced digital technology to give their customers unparalleled convenience and control, including the ability to rewind, fast-forward, pause, stop and even switch from magazine to magazine. Research shows that VOD is one of the offerings of digital television that subscribers most want. Responding to that consumer demand, VOD enables viewers to see the programming they want, when they want it, how they want it.
About Rainbow Media
Mag Rack is owned and managed by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. A subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) and NBC, Rainbow manages American Movie Classics, WE: Women's Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports, News 12 Networks, and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in Fox Sports Net. Mag Rack is one of the assets included in a new series of Cablevision common stock – Rainbow Media Group tracking stock (NYSE:RMG) – which began trading on the NYSE in March 2001. MGM (NYSE:MGM) owns a 20% stake in four of Rainbow's national networks – AMC, Bravo, IFC, and WE: Women's Entertainment.