New York – The Board of Directors of the Travel Ad Network (TAN), the leading vertical media company in travel, today announced that WebMD, Inc. pioneer Nan-Kirsten Forte has been named Chief Executive Officer of TAN, the Web’s largest travel information source with a global audience reach approaching 35 million.
Ms Forte is charged with leveraging her enormous success at health vertical WebMD into the world of travel. In her 13 years of service there, she was instrumental in growing WebMD’s consumer audience from less than 1 million to over 100 million monthly unique users and a market cap that soared to more than $2 billion.
“Just as we capitalized on the exploding need for people to be informed and empowered on health issues and healthy living, I plan to transform Travel Ad Network into the leading resource of actionable travel news and information and help media buyers understand that we are an exclusive promotional media placement agency offering a 100 percent travel-qualified audience,” says Ms Forte. “While we will build on the momentum created since TAN launched in 2003, every aspect of our operations from the name of the company, to potential acquisitions, to the creation of new proprietary travel properties is under accelerated review. This is a new day in online and digital travel information and services.”
Brian Silver, TAN’s President and CEO since 2009, will remain President and will spearhead a newly-created division of TAN called Travel Publisher and Advertiser Services.
Ms Forte brings TAN more than 20 years of experience in new media and consumer education. She had been with WebMD since 1999 serving in a variety of positions of increasing authority including Executive Vice President of WebMD Health Corp. Most recently she was Executive Vice President Brand Development and Chief Innovation Officer, and before that, was Executive Vice President, Consumer Services. Ms Forte helped establish WebMD.com as the global leader in health information and, according to a TrustR global study by Millward Brown, the most trusted brand in America. She also developed new media programs for companies such as Time Inc., IBM, Mosby, Times-Mirror, NBC, Reader’s Digest, Discovery and PBS.
Earlier in her career, Ms Forte served as President Programming and Product Development of Medcast, Greenberg News Networks. Prior to Medcast, she was President of Health of iVillage, where she launched Better Health, its first health channel. Ms Forte was also with The Center for BioMedical Communications of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. She received a master’s of science in biomedical communications from Long Island University and is an undergraduate of Swarthmore College.
“Nan has been a pioneer and a major driving force in building some of the most successful brands and media businesses online, most notably at WebMD’s consumer division,” says Habib Kairouz, Managing Partner for Rho Ventures and the major investor in TAN. “We are very excited to bring her vision to TAN to capitalize on the massive market opportunity ahead of us.”
“The travel sector is ripe for innovation in its technology-enabled business services. We like to merge new ideas and leadership with industries in transition for truly inspired results. We are confident Nan will be able to build on TAN’s formidable assets to create the leading and most trusted online authority in Travel,” says Larry Bettino, Partner for StarVest Partners, also a major investor in TAN.
“I am passionate about building entirely new brands for consumers like me who need trusted voices and conveniences in the vast digi-sphere while bringing advertisers premium target audiences that deliver results, impact and novel relationships,” adds Ms Forte.
Travel Ad Network (www.traveladnetwork.com) is the leading vertical media company in travel reaching almost 35 million worldwide unique users through their exclusive publisher network of over 300 websites including top tier publishers like Rand McNally, Let’s Go, Not For Tourists, Vayama, Viator, and HomeAway UK. Travel Ad Network uses both audience and contextual relevancy on a single platform to give marketers unrivaled access to the largest travel planning audience online across all stages of the travel lifecycle. Founded in 2003, Travel Ad Network is headquartered in New York City with branch offices in the West, Midwest and Southeast, as well as in the UK. It has received funding from Rho Ventures, Village Ventures and StarVest Partners.