Craig Woerz '93 takes the media market by storm
Growing a $100-million company from the ground up
Craig Woerz has always taken entertainment seriously. In fact, at Trinity, he balanced his political science major with a second major in music and a self-designed music-in-the-context-theater minor. For the first six years out of college, he and his band since junior high school, New Brown Hat, toured the country, playing for audiences from Maine to Georgia. And in 2001, he turned his passion for entertainment and his experience in marketing into a $100-million-dollar media strategy company, Media Storm.
Two years ago, Media Storm was the second-fastest-growing entrepreneurial company in the nation, according to Entrepreneur magazine. One of the company’s early projects, launching the FX television drama “The Shield,” garnered the show one of the highest ratings ever for a new cable program when it first aired in 2002. Since then, the company has built an impressive client list, including Food Network, TruTV, The Weather Channel, DIY Network, and Fox Broadcasting, among others. “We’re not about blending in,” explains Woerz. “We’re about breaking rules and breaking out.”
Working outside the box was something Woerz sought after years at the industry conglomerate Time Warner. “What was missing was being in control of my career,” says Woerz, who adds that after the corporate merger with AOL, Time Warner underwent a drastic climate change. Woerz and his colleague Tim Williams decided it was time to go out on their own.
This wasn’t the first time the entrepreneur had broken away from the norm. During his junior year at Trinity, as president of the Student Government Association, the student leaders were asked to meet with the Board of Trustees to discuss student life and alternatives for social interaction. At that meeting, Woerz met one of the communications industry’s best, Ray Joslin, Class of 1958 (see his profile under the Class of 1958).
“Here was this guy who took the same education and did something totally off the charts,” says Woerz, with great admiration. “I think if you’re going to get up every day and do something, you have to really love it.”
And love it, he must. Woerz dedicates seven days a week—with a break from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.—to running Media Storm’s two offices in South Norwalk, Connecticut, and a new Manhattan office, as well as managing its 55 employees. In those hours, he’s doing everything from “grunt work to senior-level management, and everything in between” to satisfy his clients’ needs.
Media Storm’s dedication to doing differently for its clients has peppered the media world with some memorable marketing campaigns. Perhaps one of the most unforgettable was created for the WE tv program “Bridezillas,” which follows a woman through the days leading up to her wedding day and all the break-downs and break-ups en route.
“Everyone tries to be everything to everyone. We want to be specialists in our own category,” says Woerz of the key to the company’s success. “We’re strategic, but we’re also very bold.”