Henry Heilbrunn preaches what he practices.

He never set out to be innovative -- yet he has been an executive in charge of product and business development for large and small companies and multiple startups. USA Today named the online startup for which he was a founder as one of the 25 things that shaped the Internet.

He never set out to preach -- yet he taught hundreds of university students in the U.S., Europe and Asia how to think creatively and inventively about the future of media and communications -- as well as his clients as an international strategic management consultant since 1993.

He intended his career to be in journalism, the traditional kind, as a writer. It began that way at The Associated Press in Ohio and in New Jersey as its bureau chief. When he was recruited to headquarters, he became intrigued with the emerging technology of the mid-1970s. Cable television and satellite broadcasting were threatening print and over-the-air TV. He has helped pioneer new media ever since. (He still writes, with free-lance articles appearing in the Washington Post and Christian Science Monitor and in the trade press.)

Heilbrunn Talks About Entrepreneurship

With this experience, Henry has taught the course he developed, “Innovating Media for the Next 5 to 20 Years”, as a visiting professor at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio; a guest lecturer at University of Leipzig in Liepzig, Germany; and as a Shapiro Fellow at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He was clinical faculty in  Ohio University MBA summer programs in Ancona, Italy, for the Faculty of Economics "Giorgio Fuà" at the Università Politecnica delle Marche; in Bangalore, India, at Christ College; and in Wuhan, China, at Huazhong University of Science and Technology. He taught in Nha Trang, Vietnam and lectured on the future of media at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

With the combination of experience in business, entrepreneurship, and the academy, he served as a national trustee of Ohio University, a state institution of higher education with 30,000 students from 2010 to 2013.

Course Description: “Innovating Media for the Next 5 to 20 Year”

Academic Experience

Henry’s consulting leverages a decade-plus of experience for chief executive officers, chief operating officers, chief marketing officers, and directors supported by 15 hands-on years as a corporate executive and another 10 inquisitive years as a journalist. He has conceived, implemented, and carried P&L responsibility for media, entertainment, financial services, commerce, and technology businesses around the world.

He’s run a product development and marketing department as Senior Vice President for Prodigy Interactive (owned by CBS, IBM and Sears), with $100 million revenue responsibility and more than a million households as customers, described as a "first-generation innovation" by the New York Times in 2011; served as chief operating officer for a startup Cablevision business during a 15-month interim assignment; managed a year-long task force of internal employees and external consultants for Europe’s largest satellite operator SES Global (ASTRA) to initiate a new line of business; conducted market research and written business plans for Microsoft and Viacom; and designed marketing and branding strategy for NBC and MasterCard. 

He consulted – at the request of the Fulbright program through the Horn of Africa Press Institute – for three independent English-language print newspapers in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa on how to expand their profitability and prepare for broader entry into the Internet.

He founded Interactive Directions LLC to provide worldwide strategic advisory services, business development, and interim executive management. Cablevision Corp. and McGraw-Hill in the US; iBEAM in Europe; and a research institution in the Middle East are among the clients since its inception. The Cablevision project, MagRack now known as Interactivation, received the Multichannel News Innovator Award in 2003 and, later, the Billboard Digital Entertainment Award. In Germany, he is affiliated with Media Consulting Group, where he worked with Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

As an executive at Luminant Worldwide Corp. he directed strategy development and implementation of e-commerce for Global 1000 companies.

Henry was a co-founder of Multimedia Resources in 1993, which merged publicly with seven other companies to form Luminant in 1999. At the Multimedia Resources, Henry was instrumental in formulating new product and business plans for NBC, Microsoft, McGraw-Hill, Société Européenne des Satellites, Belz Factory Outlets, and OnHealth Network (purchased by WebMD) and conducting business development on behalf of Encyclopedia Britannica, Viacom, and Primedia. The firm was also the interactive marketing agency for MasterCard, CNBC, and JuniorNet.

Henry joined Prodigy from CBS, where he had been editorial director of an early experiment with AT&T in 1982 to deliver information services to homes through television sets and the telephone. (Prodigy was later subsumed into a unit of AT&T.)

That was his second profession after being a reporter, bureau chief, and in general management at The Associated Press for nine years.

He continues his work in journalism. An article about a still-living white ash tree -- planted by George Washington over 200 years ago after he retired as the first president of the United States -- appeared in the Washington Post. The Christian Science Monitor published an article about an “Artist on the Trail of Flowers”, painting the official flowers for all 50 states.

Samples of Heilbrunn’s Free-Lance Articles

He was interviewed on media innovations by Bavarian radio in Germany in 2006. Writing for professional publications, Henry reported on advances in the use of broadband while traveling through Europe for “Broadband Home”; "Picking a Partner: What Newspapers Need to Know about Selecting and Working with Online Services" in Editor & Publisher in 1994; Interactive Marketing in Europe” in Direct Marketing in 1998, and “Cash Is Available For Trendsetters” in Inter@ctive Week in 2000.

He was a speaker at the industry PC Expo and for the investor conference of venture capital firm Adena Ventures on “Searching for New Ideas”; a moderator at the New York City private equity forum, and a member of the advisory board of the New York Business Forums.

Henry received his BA, with Honors, in Journalism from Ohio University and MBA, from the Executive Program, in Management at New York University.