Tom O’Brien is a proven strategic, innovative digital and television business leader who successfully operates at the nexus of digital, media and technology. He successfully drives growth in both large and small-scale companies by developing customer-focused strategies, products, cultures, and business models in news/editorial, programming, digital, technology and revenue.
A corporate officer of the Nexstar Media Group for nearly four years, Tom was recruited by the Chairman/CEO to become part of a four-person executive operating team that grew Nexstar from a $500MM to $2.5B+ revenue company. As the Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, he was responsible for developing strategies and tactics to drive holistic revenue and audience growth across the company’s pure play digital and broadcast subsidiaries to accelerate Nexstar’s transformation into a next generation, multi-media company--which culminated with Nexstar’s $4.6B acquisition of Media General in 2017. Nexstar currently operates 171 TV stations, 110+ websites and close to 200 mobile apps in 100 markets, and four pure-play digital companies.
Initially joining Nexstar as Executive Vice President, Digital Media and Chief Revenue Officer in 2013, he was the operating business leader of Nexstar’s digital group. Tom significantly expanded Nexstar’s digital portfolio by growing Nexstar’s local digital capabilities; in addition, to creating pure-play digital subsidiaries. Under his leadership, digital revenues grew from $30MM to over $250MM, an 8-fold increase. His responsibilities included managing Nexstar’s local digital business including content, product, technology, and sales for what grew to 100+ websites and close to 200 mobile apps; executive leadership of Nexstar's digital publishing technology company, video/ad technology companies and digital agency businesses; development and execution of the Nexstar’s digital M&A and multi-screen strategy; and catalyzing multi-platform audience and revenue development across the company.
Before joining Nexstar, O’Brien worked for over 14 years in senior leadership roles at NBC Universal with operating responsibility for both television and digital businesses. In his most recent role at NBC, he was recruited to be CNBC’s first EVP/Chief Revenue Officer, where he was responsible for transforming the revenue strategy to fully monetize this global, multi-platform brand by expanding their digital capabilities and diversifying revenues.
Tom was the President and General Manager of NBC’s flagship station, WNBC, prior to transferring to CNBC. He led WNBC’s transformation into one of the nation’s first true multi-platform news organizations; maximizing the production and delivery of video content to TV and digital platforms including NYC taxis, PATH trains, and other out-of-home venues as a strategy to develop new audience and revenue opportunities for NBC in New York. Prior to be being promoted to run New York, Tom was the President and General Manager of NBC’s KXAS in Dallas/Ft. Worth and NBC’s WVIT in Connecticut.
Recognized for his work in the industry, Tom received the 2015 Technology Leadership Award from Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, and was named a 2014 Digital All-Star by B&C. He was honored in April 2010 by New York’s City Harvest with their prestigious “Heart of the City” award.
O’Brien graduated at the top of his class from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the School of Management.