Michael Veitch to Head Youbet.com Marketing

Michael J. Veitch, the former executive of a technology magazine, has joined Youbet.com as its chief marketing officer, the company announced Thursday.

Veitch will be responsible for the marketing, sales, and member services divisions of the California-based online horse racing and wagering service.

"Youbet.com is the one online wagering platform designed to allow instant access while catering to the demands of sophisticated handicappers," said Youbet.com chief executive officer Charles Champion. "Our strategy is now focused on leveraging our capabilities to the benefit of our customers, track partners and our investors. We expect Mike's extensive experience in consumer marketing will assure that we efficiently accomplish our goals."

Veitch was the founder and CEO of Access magazine, a Boston-based publication that had the goal of "humanizing" technology and helping the average Joe understand everything from the Internet to digital cameras.

Within three years, Access became one of the leading consumer technology magazines. The publication negotiated long-term, distribution agreements with nine of the top 10 newspaper publishing companies across the country and created distribution contract value exceeding $35 million. In 2001, the magazine began suffering from a nationwide advertising slump. Access tried compensating decreased ad revenue by collecting a fee from its newspaper partners and lost 41% of its newspaper partners. Veitch was removed as CEO in March of 2001 and the magazine suspended publication three months later.

Veitch, who some business publications have referred to as "ever-optimistic," said he sees a lot of potential at Youbet.com.

"Youbet.com has developed a market tested, fully integrated wagering platform that offers clearly superior technology and content," he said. "When this asset is combined with our unique status as a significant, independent force in the industry, we become an attractive solution to both industry partners and to end-users. We intend to exploit this delightful opportunity by growing market share and developing exciting new revenue streams."

Before creating Access magazine, Veitch was president of CNC in suburban Boston, where he reduced the burn rate of the 110 publications in that chain by 43% in FY 1997. As general manager for the Chicago Sun-Times, he led the successful re-positioning of the company for acquisition by reversing an eight year negative circulation trend at the daily. Veitch was also chairman and CEO of the country's second largest independent newspaper representative firm. His early career included product management positions at both the Washington Post and The New York Times.