Jennifer Bidwell joins Astral

Bell Media’s OOH operation wants leaders from diverse media backgrounds as it expands into the digital and programmatic space.

IMG_1724Jennifer Bidwell has joined Astral as its new director of digital out of home.

The new role sees Bidwell managing Astral’s entire digital portfolio (pricing, yield management, product development and packaging, among other duties). She reports to Debbie Drutz, Astral’s VP of sales, who says Bidwell was hired for her “tremendous” cross-platform sales experience.

Bidwell has previously worked at Bell Media (which owns Astral) in product sales for seven years. But she arrives with more recent experience from two media agencies – Rouge Media, an out-of-home shop, and the full service Media Experts – plus a two-year national sales management role at Corus Entertainment.

While at Media Experts, Bidwell was primarily focused on television, but she said digital was “never far from my mind” as TV has increasingly become a digital business as well.

Drutz said she has been on a mission to bring in business leaders with diverse media experience.

“What’s important as we grow in digital and programmatic is to bring in skillsets we didn’t have: mobile, digital, trading and programmatic… Jen adds to that level of difference I’m trying to develop here,” said Drutz.

Astral recently launched a self-serve programmatic platform for some of its digital screens.

Bidwell’s hiring follows the promotion of Astral’s former digital OOH director Anton Vassiliev, who is now director of product strategy.