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Merrill Brown

Advisory Board

Merrill Brown is the founder and principal of MMB Media LLC, which provides clients with management and strategy consulting, corporate, editorial and program development, business analysis and marketing services. Since the founding of MMB Media, clients have ranged from companies in the news, information and wireless businesses to a large foundation. Brown has recently served as Senior Strategist for Journalism Online, the startup online publishing subscription services company founded by Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz.


Brown is also a partner in Propeller LLC, a New York consultancy, and served from 2005 through December 2007 as National Editorial Director of News for the 21st Century: Incubators of New Ideas (News 21), part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.


Before establishing MMB Media, Brown served as Senior Vice President, RealNetworks’ RealOne Services from August 2002 through August 2003 and was responsible for all facets of the RealOne programming business including programming, subscription sales, marketing, advertising sales and technology. During his tenure, RealOne expanded subscription programming offerings in news, sports, entertainment and music and grew from 750,000 paid subscribers to over 1,000,000.


Brown became the first Editor in Chief of MSNBC.com in August 1996 after serving as acting managing editor for the July launch of the service. He became Senior Vice President in August 2000. During his tenure, the fledgling company grew to become one of the most visited news offerings on the Web, maintaining a position as the No. 1 online news provider since 1999.


Prior to joining MSNBC in May 1996, Brown was a media and communications consultant whose work included strategic development work at Time Inc., NBC, U S West and a score of other media ventures (1995-96). While at Time, he served as consulting senior editor of Money magazine, developing online and Internet services for the publication. He also served as acting editor for Time Magazine Daily (the periodical's daily online news operation) and as a consulting editor for Time magazine. During that time, Brown also served as a launch consultant for NBC Desktop Video, designing the network program plan and creating the network's on-air look for NBC's business news service delivered to personal computers.


Brown was one of the initial strategists responsible for creating the Courtroom Television Network (Court TV). Brown worked on all facets of the network’s operation leading up to its July 1991 launch. As senior vice president, corporate & program development, he oversaw program planning, advertising, promotion, marketing, public relations and development of day-to-day management of the cable network (1990-1994).


From 1985 to 1990, Brown was editor in chief of Channels magazine, repositioning the bi-monthly as a highly successful television business monthly, tripling the amount of ad pages in three years. Channels was named a National Magazine Award finalist for general excellence during Brown's tenure.


Brown was associated with the Washington Post from 1979 to 1985, serving as a financial reporter (1979-1982), New York financial correspondent (1982-1984) and director of business development, Washington Post Company (1984-1985). Prior to that, Brown was a financial reporter at the Washington Star (1978-1979), Washington correspondent for Media General Newspapers (1975-1978), a reporter at the Winston-Salem Sentinel (1974-1975) and reporter and freelance critic at the St. Louis Post Dispatch (1973-1974). Brown has also made numerous television appearances, including the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (1980-1990), as a regular media analyst for CNBC and FNN (1988-1990) and on dozens of other major broadcast and cable news programs.


Brown also serves on the boards of Smashing Ideas, Inc., the Center for Citizen Media, New West Publishing, the International Women’s Media Foundation, iFocus, the Institute for the Connected Society, Causes.com, Ology.com, and the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. Brown is an advisor to Curious Office, a Seattle early stage investment and technology firm. Brown also is a member of the advisory boards of three advertising firms, Media 6 Degrees, Mixpo and TRA Global, where he recently became Advisory Board Chairman. Brown is also an advisor to Evri.com, a content discovery company funded by Vulcan Capital and has served as advisor and the Chairman of the Board of NowPublic, the leading citizen journalism company in the world. NowPublic was sold to Examiner.com last September.