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Sohmer to spearhead Pax Net web launch

Biz consultant eyeing staff position

Paxson Communications has enlisted TV marketing maven Steve Sohmer to spearhead the promo blitz for the launch of its Pax Net web this summer.

Sohmer, recruited by Paxson’s newly appointed CEO Jeff Sagansky, is presently working as a consultant to the web but is in talks for a long-term position at the West Palm Beach, Fla.-based company.

Sohmer is charged with designing the launch campaign for Pax Net as well as staffing the network’s promotion department. The family-oriented Pax Net web is set to bow Aug. 31 on Paxson’s 75-plus TV stations nationwide.

Sohmer is an industry vet whose resume includes stints as exec VP of NBC, CBS and prexy and chief operating officer of Columbia Pictures.

At NBC, he brainstormed the “Come Home to NBC” image campaign of the 1980s, and oversaw marketing for such NBC hits as “Knight Rider,” “Remington Steele,” “Golden Girls” and “Miami Vice.” He’s also worked as a TV writer and producer on the NBC miniseries “Tom Clancy’s Op Center” and “Favorite Son” and the ABC telefilm “Never Say Never.”

Separately, Paxson announced it has lined up Pax Net broadcast affiliates in eight markets where it does not own a station, bringing Pax Net’s projected reach at launch to 74% of U.S. TV households. Pax Net’s new recruits include WLMB Toledo, Ohio, and KCSG Salt Lake City, Utah.

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