Richard Gingras

Wikipedia entry


For more than thirty years, Richard Gingras has led highly-regarded efforts in the development of online services, software, and new media. These endeavors range from pioneering uses of satellite networking for television, the first applications of television signals for data distribution, both pre-Web and Web-based online services, and the creation of various platform technologies. Over the last several years Gingras has focused his attention on the transformation of the media landscape.

Gingras is currently senior director of news and social products at Google. In that role he oversees Google News which connects more than a billion unique readers each week to articles from journalists in 72 countries and 45 languages. He also oversees areas of product development relating to Google’s social products (Google+).

He serves on the boards of the First Amendment Coalition, the International Center for Journalists. In the fall of 2012, Gingras was recognized with the Manship Prize for contributions to the evolution of digital media. The Manship Prize is awarded by the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University. In May 2013, Gingras gave a commencement speech at West Virginia University.

Until July, 2011, Gingras was CEO of Salon Media Group which operates the popular and acclaimed news site, the blogging community, and the pioneering virtual community The Well. Gingras has had a long association with Salon having assembled its initial seed financing in 1995. Salon was the first web-only publication.

Gingras also served, during 2007 and 2008, as a strategic advisor to the executive team at Google focusing on strategies relating to the evolution of news and television. Gingras has long guided the development of new products, new technologies, and new companies, often as an active board member and strategic advisor with early stage ventures.

Gingras was co-founder, CEO and chairman of Goodmail Systems, a venture that developed certified email services for thousands of online retailers and financial service companies. Other ventures include Audio Mill (merged into Real Networks, April, 2002), technology incubator ChanceTechAV, web applications platform provider Laszlo Systems, custom book publisher MyPublisher, broadband applications platform developer Sugar Media (merged into 2Wire, September, 2003) among others.

Gingras also served as interim president of MyPublisher from 2000-2001. In that role he guided the design of the popular custom hardcover photo book product introduced and branded by Apple as part of iPhoto.

Gingras also successfully explored the intersection of public policy, online commerce and parody with the creation of the Total Information Awareness Gift Shop, a satirical poke at government efforts to secretly mine data from vast arrays of corporate and governmental databases. Proceeds of the TIA Gift Shop continue to go to the ACLU.

In his spare time, Gingras likes to build things, burn things, and make odd movies.

Gingras is also an advisor and board member of the World Computer Exchange, which diverts used computers from landfills in the United States and places them with educational facilities in developing countries.

From early 1996 to mid 2000, Gingras led online service efforts at Excite@Home as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the company's consumer-focused product division, Excite Studios. With dozens of products -- including the Excite narrowband and @Home broadband portals -- and 600 employees, the media division generated over 160 million daily page views with $250 million in annual revenue.

Will Hearst brought Gingras to the pre-merger @Home Network in January, 1996, as its founding vice president of programming and editor-in-chief. In that role he held global responsibility for @Home's broadband-enabled, media-rich online services. @Home was founded by the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and a number of major cable companies to offer high-speed Internet access using the infrastructure of cable television systems. Gingras launched broadband online services in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands.

At Apple Computer in the early 1990's Gingras led the development of the online service eWorld. A pre-Web online service, eWorld was built with technology licensed from AOL and it introduced many online service innovations -- in overall product design, in publishing infrastructures, in instant messaging, and in organizing and presenting 3rd-party branded content - innovations that were later adopted by AOL when it acquired eWorld in 1996.

Gingras's work in online services reaches back to the very beginning of interactive media in the US. In 1979, he was the creator of the first interactive online news magazine - done in partnership with CBS, NBC, and PBS and delivered to several hundred test households using interactive TV set-top box technology known as broadcast teletext.

From 1987 to 1992, Gingras was the founder and president of MediaWorks, an Apple-funded startup that developed early news-agenting and executive support software for Fortune 500 corporations. His first endeavor in the digital world was a a travel software title, City-to-City, published by Activision in 1986.

From 1983 to 1986, Gingras assembled and managed a network of television stations in the top fifty US markets to provide sideband data distribution for a news and advertising service, Silent Radio, that was presented on electronic displays in retail locations.

Gingras began his career in television, holding various positions with PBS, KCET/Los Angeles, and NBC during the 1970's. He is a 1973 graduate of Boston College.