J. Clark Smith

Director of Sales and Marketing

J. Clark Smith

Clark Smith, Director of Sales and Marketing for Illustrated Media Group, LLC, has held executive level positions in marketing and sales and has had senior management responsibilities for several financial services companies.

A graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in communications, Smith began his career as a broker and marketer of financial products at Rudolph Wolff Securities. Later, he became a partner in the financial public relations firm Rose, Rodrigues & Hunnewell. In 1989, Smith and his partners chose to focus on the entertainment industry, and changed the name of the company to Cinequest Entertainment, Inc. Cinequest offered an array of services, providing clients with expertise on film banking, foreign distribution, brand licensing, financial management and public relations.

In 1991, Smith left Cinequest to work with a Hollywood and Broadway legend, the former partner of David Merrick, Allen DeLynn, developing entertainment properties and screenplays.

In 1992, because of his marketing expertise along with his broad and deep knowledge of the film and entertainment business, Smith was offered a position as Vice President of Marketing and Development by Enlightened Entertainment Partners, LLP. EEP developed properties for all media, including comics, trading cards, video games, toys, film and television. Smith’s role was to market EEP’s publications, support the marketing of its licensed products and create opportunities for exploitation of its properties in film, television, animation and licensing. Though new to the publishing field, Smith oversaw the outstandingly successful launch of EEP’s DEFIANT comics line, and made DEFIANT the fourth largest U.S. comics publisher in its first year, with sales of over ten million dollars. Smith also oversaw all of the company’s advertising and promotional efforts, and contributed a number of creative and successful innovations. He pioneered the use of catalogue bind-in comics and developed new ideas for collectible premium giveaway comics that had dramatic, positive effects on DEFIANT’s sales.

Smith gained the interest of both New Line Cinema and Savoy Pictures, both of which made offers to buy out EEP’s original investors at a handsome profit as a first step toward developing the vast potential of EEP’s properties for entertainment. Ultimately, however, the assets of EEP were acquired by a third suitor, Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video Entertainment, producers of Saturday Night Live.

At Broadway Video Entertainment, which published comics under the Broadway Comics imprint, Smith’s responsibilities were the much the same as at EEP. Smith facilitated a joint venture deal with the World Wrestling Federation, sold several key licenses, including one to Comic Images, Inc., and helped open discussions with Paramount and its parent Viacom regarding potential joint ventures for publishing, film and television.

Smith also brought Broadway into the custom comics business, arranging for Broadway Comics to produce a limited edition collectible Holiday gift comic book for customers of the parent company, video editing giant Broadway Video, and selling a number of comics format ads to national advertisers.

Smith left Broadway in 1994 to pursue opportunities as an independent producer. He has also founded three film industry financial services companies, and has consulted with other entertainment entities, including Blue Ribbon International.

In early 2002, Smith agreed to bring his considerable skills and expertise to Illustrated Media Group.