Michael Steele has announced his new online media manager and he—at least last time he updated an online bio—is not a Republican.Todd Herman, a former Microsoft and MSN executive, will join the RNC April 6 under the title "New Media Director." The RNC's press release touts Herman's conservative credentials, calling him a "Christian, husband and father." But at the website of his latest venture, SpinSpotter, which uses crowdsourcing to reveal when online articles contain bias, Herman says that he has no political party.Regardless of his party registration, some Republican tech consultants are unhappy with the selection, thinking the party needs to emphasize political expertise over Silicon Valley credentials.Herman essentially replaces Cyrus Krohn, the RNC's former eCampaign manager and one of the most lamented departures under Steele's tenure. He arrives into a party that is pushing for technological catch-up with Democratic opponents.From the press release:
Until September 2007, Todd was a Microsoft executive where he held a number of senior leadership positions, most recently General Manager, Media Strategy and Monetization for MSN. Todd was the Streaming Media Evangelist at MSNBC.com where he wrote the initial strategy and business plan for MSN Video Product Unit. Under his leadership, MSN Video inaugurated over 100 traditional TV brands into broadband video and its revenues grew fourfold over four consecutive years. Prior to joining Microsoft, Todd was Co-Founder and CEO of theDial, a venture-capital backed Internet radio network. theDial's syndication network was the first to welcome Fortune 500 companies and national consumer brands to Internet radio advertising. His most recent company is SpinSpotter, a venture-capital backed, semantic web business and winner of a 2008 DEMOgod Award.
In 2008, Streaming Media Magazine named Todd one of the 25 initial inductees into the Streaming Media All Stars for his role in launching both the Internet radio and broadband video industries. AdAge Magazine named Todd "the media guy" at Microsoft, and he has been featured in Business Week, The New York Times and profiled in the Seattle Times.Todd is a provocative speaker on media strategy, new media audience dynamics, digital-politics and pop culture. He has been a featured solo speaker at The Future of TV, VON, Ogilvy's Verge Summit, Ad:tech, The National Association of Broadcasters, Streaming Media and Digital Hollywood. He is a frequent guest lecturer at UCLA's Anderson School for media and entertainment. Previously, Todd was a nationally known radio talk show host perhaps most remembered for beginning the movement that contributed to the defeat of sitting House Speaker Thomas Foley in 1994.