For associate professor Ava Seave at Columbia University’s Business School the explosion of digital media has meant major disruption among traditional media, with a fundamental questioning of what media brands stand for. ”

Professor Seave is a Principal of Quantum Media, a leading New York City based consulting firm focused on marketing and strategic planning for media and entertainment companies. As a Quantum Media principal, she has led numerous consulting engagements and has provided senior-level management consulting services to many companies in a broad range of assignments.

Before founding Quantum Media with four others in 1998, she was a general manager at three leading media companies: Scholastic Inc., where she directed the Trumpet Club and Scholastic Specials business units, at The Village Voice where she was responsible for all non-advertising revenue and administrative management including circulation, shipping and distribution, list sales, print and on-line syndication and consumer advertising and public relations and at TVSM, the country’s largest cable listings magazine.

Ava started her career at Dell Publishing (a division of Doubleday) and as an editor at two horticulture magazines. Professor Seave’s teaching experience beyond CBS includes stints at the New York University School of Professional and Continuing Education in the Masters of Publishing and E-management programs. She has been a lecturer at numerous Folio Conferences, FMA conferences and for the Magazine Publishers’ Association Executive Education programs. Professor Seave is on the Board of Davler Media.

She is also on the non-profit boards of the Pembroke Center at Brown University and the Archaeology Institute of America, serving as head of the Archaeology Magazine committee.

What area of research are you currently working on?
Commercial Business Models for Digital journalism with co-author William Grueskin, dean at the Journalism School. Also, just completed contributing to the FCC “all hands on deck” project on The Future of the Media.

A case study that you think is important. Why?
Martha Stewart Omnimedia – helps students sort out how to evaluate media properties that compete in completely different segments – with different cost structures and different competitors. Shows misguided investments in internet distribution. Is basis for excellent discussions about what brand really is and how it works.

A management book you think highly of (written by someone else). Why?
All the News that’s Fit to Sell” by James Hamilton (Duke). Excellent explanation of media economics and how this affects coverage of civil issues and how digital distribution is so disruptive.

A very recent business or management title you read, and its significant lessons.
“Long for this World” by Jonathan Weiner (check spelling) is about the science/business of trying to extend our life times – and how the ideas, the science and the commercial aspects are woven together. And about strong personalities and how they affect an entire area of business and study.

What was your most interesting consulting assignment? Why?
I have an ongoing relationship with a major museum for the last 10 years. I have helped them with operations and marketing issues across many, many of their departments. Despite the breadth of the work – everything turns out to be inter-related. You rarely get this kind of relationship with a company as a consultant – so it is very rewarding.

If tomorrow you could occupy an executive function in any company, what function and company? Why?
Head of strategy for a media company making the transition to digital and digital/traditional products because it is SO hard and SO interesting.