Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, today announced that it has appointed James Rooke as the company’s new general manager, effective January 1, 2020 Martech News.
In this role, Rooke will lead the newly rebranded company as it embarks on its next chapter and mission: to become the world’s smartest audience delivery company. He will oversee a 3,500-person nationwide team across sales, operations, technology, product, data innovation and insights, and customer experience to pioneer and unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation and industry leadership. Additionally, he will cultivate Effectv’s relationships with external stakeholders and industry organizations Martech.
He will report to Comcast Advertising President Marcien Jenckes and will continue to be based in New York.
Currently, Rooke is general manager of FreeWheel Publishers, a division of FreeWheel. FreeWheel and Effectv are both part of Comcast Advertising. At FreeWheel, Rooke oversees the company’s global business unit responsible for providing television programmers and distributors with advertising technology and services to manage the monetization of their video content, a responsibility and area of expertise that made him a strong candidate to lead Effectv.
“At Effectv, we’re at the forefront of an exciting and interesting time in the company’s history and future: We’re leading the organization – and industry – into a new era of audience-driven growth, and we sought a leader with the right credentials to spearhead that charge,” Jenckes said. “Since leading the Comcast Advertising business, I’ve had the terrific opportunity to work with James. He is smart and inquisitive and brings a strong understanding of both the TV and digital sides of the business, having held leadership roles across several industries, including pay TV, cable, media, publishing and sales. In short, he grew up in cable ad sales and has literally helped build the future of the industry as we know it today. He is a standout leader to guide Effectv into its next chapter.”
Rooke has held a variety of leadership roles at FreeWheel and brings a background in ad tech, media and consulting. Throughout his career, he has helmed and mentored teams behind the launch of new strategic initiatives, disciplines and product offerings. He also has experience leading mergers and acquisitions and supervising a large workforce both domestically and globally.
At FreeWheel, Rooke helped design, launch and scale a new video marketplace that enabled the company’s clients to safely trade digital video inventory and transact programmatically with agencies and brand marketers. (Effectv, then known as Comcast Spotlight, was one of the first users of this platform.) Upon first joining FreeWheel in 2012 as vice president, advisory services, he created and scaled a new consulting business unit. (That team still exists today and provides strategic and operational advisory to drive digital video growth for broadcaster, cable network and distributor companies.) Rooke also previously served as the company’s chief revenue officer, and in his most recent role, he led sell-side relationships with companies spanning A+E Networks, Charter, Discovery, Fox, Viacom and NBCU.
“This is a wonderful and exciting opportunity, and I’m thrilled and humbled to lead Effectv in its new charge. There is so much potential in this brand. It’s an exciting and pivotal time for the company as we unlock Effectv’s industry-leading suite of products to deliver on the power of TV, combined with the best of digital, to transform the media experience for advertisers and consumers,” Rooke said.
Before FreeWheel, Rooke was a vp overseeing strategy and execution in the media business at Time Warner Cable, now Charter Communications. There, he spearheaded the collaboration across both corporate and field teams to move the business from being traditional TV to more digitally led. At Capgemini, he rose from senior consultant to principal of the consulting and technology company’s media and entertainment practice in North America and steered major strategic initiatives for a number of the world’s largest media companies. He began his career as an associate consultant at EY (then known as Ernst & Young) in London.
Rooke holds a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Birmingham in London. He serves as a board advisor of TVision, an industry leader in TV performance metrics. He lives with his wife and two daughters in New York.