jim willi

Jim Willi
Principal and Senior Vice President, Multimedia Innovation

“Turning a station around requires total buy-in and daily nurturing. Your entire organization must believe in it, and live it every day. Make no small plans - only valuable, blog actions make customers go 'wow!'”


Few people in America understand the news and information space – and its audience – like AR&D Principal and Senior Vice President, Multimedia Innovation Jim Willi.  For the past 25 years he has provided strategic counsel for over 50 television stations from New York to Honolulu to Chicago to Seattle and many markets in between.  Jim has also guided CNN and MSNBC in news and programming initiatives.



Trusted Motivator


"No one understands the challenges I face. You know. You sat in my chair."


During his 40 plus years in electronic communication Jim has been a reporter, anchor, producer, news director and general manager.  His intricate knowledge of television stations gives him unmatched insight when he leads the re-engineering of these stations – turning them into multiple platform Continuous News sources.


Jim has pioneered the use of social media as a marketing weapon to reach an ever-elusive audience.  With over 70% of the audience now on a smartphone, tablet or other device while watching primetime TV – social media is a critical marketing tool used to “invite” people to a station’s newscasts.



Ratings Success


"We used to be in fourth place in a three station market.  With Jim’s guidance we just won the late news ratings for the 26th straight sweeps period.”


Jim has a successful track record of doing what's almost impossible in television - taking third place stations to first. It only happens five-percent of the time, and is rare in today's environment. Yet Jim is making it happen. He has an uncanny ability to see the big picture and even the smallest details of the strategy. Using AR&D’s research, he finds an unfulfilled brand image – highly desired by the audience – and exploits it relentlessly.


Coming up with plans to take advantage of these opportunities is easy.  Getting people to execute strategy is hard. That's why Jim works on all levels at his client stations.   He connects with them, giving them the confidence and power to get things done.


Using his broad experience, Jim offers a unique perspective making people comfortable with his advice. Many advisors have theories - but Jim has been there, done that. He has served as a trusted advisor for CBS, NBC, Lin Television, Raycom, Media General, Cordillera Broadcasting, Journal Company, Belo, Gannett, Newscorp/Fox, Tribune Broadcasting, Hearst-Argyle, Bonten Media, Young, and Pappas.


Jim is a sought after keynote speaker.  He has led sessions at NAB, RTDNA, NOAA, and the National Weather Association.





Jim loves sports of all kinds. He is an avid fisherman, and Texas Hold 'Em player.  His wife, Sherri, tolerates this latest passion, as long as he takes time out for a movie date at least once a week. He is very proud of his two sons and still manages to beat them at racquetball once in awhile.


You can reach Jim Willi at jwilli@ar-d.com or 972.989.9894.  Check out his blog musings at jimwilli.com.