Born in Brooklyn, New York, Brian Gruber has spent 40 years studying, leading, and building new media companies and creative projects. Armed with a B.A. in Communication Arts and Sciences from Queens College and an M.A. from Pepperdine University in Broadcast Management, he was hired by C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb to be the pioneering cable network’s first head of marketing. In addition to extending the young network’s reach nationwide and launching C-SPAN II into 8 million homes (at the time, the largest-ever cable channel launch), he hosted two live national call-in shows each week with politically prominent guests such as John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, and Cesar Chavez.
Gruber became a cable marketing turnaround specialist, working in urban markets such as Jones Intercable Albuquerque, Heritage San Jose, and Scripps-Howard Sacramento, where he drove record subscriber growth in each market. Recruited by former Heritage colleague Rod Thole to be the first head of marketing for Australian cable television company FOXTEL, Gruber marketed the national launch, driving the service from the number three to the number one operator in the country during his tenure.
Returning to the United States, Gruber founded consulting company g/media and built the marketing and branding agency Principals.com, which brought together industry leading agency principals from diverse marketing disciplines. Clients included Australia’s Coolect, Hong Kong-based Online Education, China Broadband, Myrio, and ZDTV/Tech TV.
While consulting for the San Francisco-based World Affairs Council, building its media division and introducing video coverage to its events, Gruber founded FORA.tv, with funding from Will Hearst, Adobe, Nuance founder Ron Croen, Gary Lauder, Comedy Channel founding CEO Dick Beahrs, FCC Chair Julius Genachowski, and others. Named by TIME magazine as one of the fifty best sites on the web, Gruber sold the vision of a global thought leader network to the world’s leading public forums, from the Chautauqua Institution and the Aspen Ideas Festival to the New York Public Library and London’s Chatham House, often introducing video coverage to these events for the first time. While there he interviewed numerous public intellectuals, writers, and policy experts from Christopher Hitchens and Norman Mailer to Robert Thurman, Amy Goodman, Arianna Huffington, and Jim Lehrer.
Intrigued by the potential of live real-time video and automated HD production, Gruber created beNOW.tv, which streamed live events from magazine newsrooms (The New Republic), bookstores (Booksmith), public forums (the Commonwealth Club) and iconic music venues (Yoshi’s). Under the beNOW umbrella, Gruber and colleagues launched ShowGo.tv, and streamed hundreds of live concerts from elite jazz clubs in Brazil, the UK, Italy, and the United States.
Gruber has acted in more than a dozen plays, including Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” (Leonato) and “Taming of the Shrew” (Grumio), James Goldman’s “A Lion in Winter” (performing the lead role Henry II), and Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” (Astrov). After a career marketing, packaging, and innovating the delivery of creative work, he began to create his own. He is the author of four books, recently traveling to four continents for a book on successful citizen movements. He currently lives and writes by the sea on the Thai island of Koh Phangan. Recent projects include facilitating a weekly seaside writing group, conducting a 'writeshop' for MyJustice in Myanmar, helping EU journalists tour NGO projects in Myanmar and Cambodia, providing coaching and instruction for a writers' house in Koh Samui, and coaching writers to take their book projects to completion. He recently launched "Sand Scribes," a concept-to-completion coaching and publishing service for aspiring writers, with author, editor, and international correspondent Tom Vater. He is the father of two daughters, Andrea and Jennie, with two grandchildren, Silas Alder and Cecelia Marie.