Oxford Road, the ad agency that specializes in podcast advertising, has expanded its executive team as it charts its own growth along with the audio and spoken word industry. The company has recruited ad agency veteran Steven Abraham to join Oxford Road as its new President. It has also brought veteran radio executive Kraig Kitchin and experiential learning company executive Jennifer Laine onboard as strategic advisors.
The appointments come at a time of expansion for Oxford Road. The agency that launched in 2013 says it now has 50 active clients who have bought thousands of media properties during 2020. “As many companies slowed down this year, we made a conscious decision to speed up,” said founder and CEO Dan Granger.
Abraham most recently was a Managing Director at OMD for the past three years, leaving the agency in August. He earlier spent seven years in the same role at MediaCom in Los Angeles and worked on the client side for Universal Pictures prior to that.
Granger said bringing Abraham onboard will not only ensure that all of their clients receive the same level of sophistication in strategy and service as the big ad agencies, he will also be focused on Oxford Road’s next phase of growth and expanding its capabilities as traditional media channels shift more ad dollars into digital media. “We are grateful for his global agency pedigree, and most importantly his alignment with our mission to provide best-in-market performance at maximum scale for our clients,” said Granger in the announcement.
Abraham called Oxford Road a “hidden gem” and he sees opportunities for the agency to spread its wings into other kinds of media environments, digital, analog, or any of the emerging platforms that come up. “It’s the agency’s concept of ‘influence’ that resonates – getting involved within the conversation rather than just implementing somewhat traditional, two-dimensional advertising. That guiding principle at Oxford Road is attractive to me,” he said.
Kitchin is a cofounder of Premiere Radio Networks who also spent six years as CEO of The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s multiplatform network, until his departure in 2016. Kitchin currently runs his own talent management company, Sound Mind, which represents radio personality Delilah, among other hosts. And he also serves as co-President of Big Shoes Productions, a radio programming production company that is owned by Delilah.
“Kraig has been a mentor to me since well before I started the agency, so I am deeply humbled that he will now be closely advising the team in a formal capacity,” said Granger. “This is still very much a relationship business and Kraig's guiding hand will ensure that we elevate our contributions to client, media and talent relationships beyond anything ever achieved by an agency. His involvement is a critical ingredient to achieve our ambition of being the absolute leader in the space.”
Laine is currently President of the digital content monetization company Culture Media and previously led Cloud Productions, a client management firm. She earlier worked in the fashion industry.
Granger called Laine a “collaborator” in orchestrating an agency rebrand. “In addition to helping establish Oxford Road's podcasting arm and inaugural series, she is masterfully steering the ship on the undertakings we will reveal in the coming months,” he said.