People and Pop Culture

NFL's Chris Halpin to join digital media holding company IAC

By Ben Fischer

NFL Exec VP and Chief Strategy & Growth Officer CHRIS HALPIN will leave the league later this month to become CFO of the digital media holding company IAC, the company announced this morning. The move is effective Jan. 26. Halpin has been at the NFL since June '13, when he started as VP/Media Strategy & Business Development. Since then, he has risen in the ranks to his current role, where he leads the league’s sports betting and international strategy. Some had considered him a contender to replace Commissioner ROGER GOODELL, but most succession speculation placed him a tier below Exec VP and Chief Business Officer BRIAN ROLAPP, believed to be the internal favorite. Goodell’s current contract runs through March '24.

Halpin will not be replaced, and his duties will be spread across others on the NFL's executive team. The international portfolio will be inherited by Exec VP/Club Business and Legal Events PETER O'REILLY; legal sports betting goes to CRO RENIE ANDERSON; strategy will go under CFO JOE SICLARE; and data & analytics goes to Exec VP/Chief Administration Officer DASHA SMITH.

At IAC, Halpin will report to CEO JOEY LEVIN and oversee all finance, accounting, M&A, investor relations and administration. Notable IAC brands include People, Southern Living and the Daily Beast, among others. Prior to joining the NFL, Halpin was a partner and managing director at Providence Equity Partners. Halpin was an SBJ "Forty Under 40" honoree in '16.

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While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

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