Spotlight: Jeff Berman, president, BermanBraun
Media company BermanBraun recently named Jeff Berman president. Berman, who is no relation to BermanBraun co-founder Gail Berman, comes to the firm after serving as general manager of NFL Digital Media. Berman began his career practicing law in Washington, D.C., before joining Myspace in 2006. He rose to president of sales and marketing before leaving in 2008.
■ New title: President, BermanBraun.
■ Previous title: General manager of NFL Digital Media.
■ First job: Booth operator at an office parking garage.
■ Education: Bachelor of arts, government, Connecticut College (1993); doctor of law, Yale Law School (1996).
■ Resides: Los Angeles.
■ Grew up: Chevy Chase, Md.
■ Executive most admired: Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer, LinkedIn. “Smart, talented, generous and a first-rate leader. More importantly, he lives his compelling personal values across family, friends and work.”
■ Brand most admired: Do Something. “If you’re a young person trying to kick apathy’s butt, you know why.”
■ Favorite vacation spot: Big Sur, Calif.
■ Last book read: “2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America,” by Albert Brooks.
■ Last movie seen: The Queen of Versailles.”
■ How did you make the career switch from practicing law to working with social media?
News Corp. purchased Myspace. They were looking for someone to come in and manage policy and communications, particularly around safety and security. … There aren’t a lot of people in L.A. who have my background. If you’re from New York or D.C. you could throw a rock and hit someone who looks like me, but not so much out here.
■ What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
Whether you’re talking about Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube or Microsoft or any of the other folks out there who are going to be creating original content and distributing it … or you’re talking about the way to directly integrate commerce with content or you’re talking about the way for fans to socialize content and recreate it, it’s the Wild West.
■ What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
It’s been less about taking risks for me than it’s been about following my heart and looking for opportunities that are exciting and challenging, where there’s a chance to learn and hopefully do great things
■ What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
I’ve been able to build teams of extraordinary people who work the right way and work together to do amazing things. … We get it 80 percent or 90 percent right and we go, and the fans tell us more about the last 10 or 20 percent than we’ll ever figure out on a white board.
■ What cais your biggest professional disappointment?
If we figured out a few things differently at Myspace, I’d still be working there.
■ What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
I’m excited to see what my friends and former colleagues at the NFL do. In particular, when it comes to mobile and international.
■ What’s one thing you would like to see changed in the industry?
I think that what the NFL was doing to lead the way on player health and safety is as important an initiative as is happening in sport.