Having served as CHUM’s VP of interactive, Roma Khanna is thrilled to be its new SVP of content. But even she seems a little surprised by what she has called the network’s non-traditional choice. ‘My background isn’t television,’ she says. ‘I’ve only been in TV for two years. A lot of companies take TV people and put them in charge of Internet sites. But you don’t see it going the other way around.’
But take a peek at Khanna’s resume and CHUM’s choice becomes clear. With a background in entertainment law, Khanna was EVP for Snap Media, now QuickPlay Media, a Canadian interactive producer. There, she was involved in the production and creation of projects for a number of television programs, including FT-FashionTelevision.
Khanna has a history of doing things differently, and that will continue in her new post. CHUM recently announced a deal with Yahoo! Canada to build a site in support of Canada’s Next Top Model. Look for more interaction between programming, online, mobile and other new media. ‘People are beginning to understand that emerging platforms offer two things: you connect with the audience in a different way, and you market content in a more innovative way – it’s an alternate business platform. What clicks is that it’s all in the consumer’s favor. The brands that matter to them are becoming more available to them.’ It’s about maintaining relevance, says Khanna. ‘We have to ask ourselves, ‘What’s our place in the media mix?’ The audience is consuming on psps, broadband; if we don’t evolve, the only place we fit is on television.’