National Geographic Digital Media (NGDM) has announced the promotion of Rob Covey to senior vice president of content development and design for online material. Reporting to Betsy Scolnik, president of NGDM, Covey will be responsible for creating compelling ways to engage online audiences and convey the energy of all National Geographic’s media properties across the Web. Covey’s appointment also marks the integration of NGM.com into NGDM.
“For the past year, Rob has played an instrumental role in the tremendous growth of the National Geographic magazine’s online content development efforts, with the amount of page views and time spent on the site already doubling,” said Scolnik. “This new position will demonstrate his dedication to maximizing the consumer experience while leveraging the National Geographic brand. We are looking forward to integrating his creative momentum with our successful strategy and expanding National Geographic Digital Media globally.”
Covey joined National Geographic as managing editor and creative director for NGM Online in February 2007. Under his leadership, Pictures of the Year International awarded NGM.com first place in the “Best Use in Multimedia for Major Media” category. He introduced the immensely popular MY SHOT feature, which enables users online to create their own Web pages, display their best photographs and interact with them through jigsaw puzzle and memory sorting game applications. The MY SHOT application was developed after the online success of YOUR SHOT, a user-generated concept where users send in their best photographs and a National Geographic photo editor selects the 12 best entries each day for online display. YOUR SHOT has been nominated for a 2008 Webby award for Best Use of Photography. In 2007 National Geographic magazine’s “YOUR SHOT Jigsaw Puzzles” won for Best Web-Only Tool at the Magazine Publishers of America Digital Awards.
Covey worked previously at Discovery Communications, where, as senior vice president for content and design, he led the creative and editorial team that developed Discovery.com and its many Web properties, including the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel (TLC), Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, Discovery Health, the Science Channel and Discovery Kids.
“I am excited to bring my experience to NationalGeographic.com by helping create a fully integrated Web site that showcases our mission, while continuing to engage online users creatively,” Covey said. “I plan to expand content for the core site sections of NationalGeographic.com and continue to spearhead online ventures like the second annual international photo contest.”
In addition to Covey’s appointment, Dave Smith, who has played a key role in National Geographic’s online product development, has been named director of Web technology planning and now joins Stavros Hilaris’ Technology Group. Smith previously reported to Covey.
National Geographic Digital Media (NGDM) is the multimedia division of National Geographic Ventures, the wholly owned, taxable subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest educational and scientific nonprofit organizations. At the forefront of the digital media revolution, NGDM publishes NationalGeographic.com; delivers multimedia content to digital consumers; manages content partnerships across broadband, mobile, gaming and other consumer digital platforms; and provides video and film footage to commercial, theatrical, education and other digital footage markets.