Subscribe to Our Newsletter.

Smooth Operator. Episode 2. Bryce Widelitz, Vice President, Publisher Innovation,

Jun 30, 2023 by Martech Record

In episode two, we interview Bryce Widelitz, the Vice President of Publisher Innovation at  Widelitz is an expert in partnership networks and affiliate marketing.  He played a critical role in the success of content and commerce at CNN, where he created CNN Underscored – a massive revenue stream for the company. 



In the interview, Widelitz shares his background and explains when he first became interested in affiliate marketing.  We discuss the insights Widelitz has gained in his years in the industry and how he identifies perfect partners to secure lucrative, direct deals.  Widelitz also discloses how he views and navigates recruiting top talent in an ever-changing industry where few people have extensive experience.

After spending his early career working on his own company (aimed at revolutionizing how people shop for their dorm room), Widelitz bounced around between a few roles before landing at CNN, where he “stumbled into affiliate,” as he puts it.  He was the first person hired to manage partnerships, but he quickly saw more potential in the space.  Still, creating Underscored came with its challenges, particularly within a journalistic organization.  For him, driving revenue on the affiliate side reflected built-up trust and support from CNN’s audienctme. 

For publishers looking to grow, Wideltiz has some advice: “The biggest thing, no matter the size of publisher you are, is just trying a ton of different things and then leading into what’s working… you just have to persevere and keep trying other things.


Smooth Operator is made possible by our partner OneCTA, a platform that makes it easy for publishers to grow their affiliate revenue with optimized call to actions. Head to to create your free account, explore libraries of popular ad templates, and build custom experiences proven to grow publisher revenue today.


Smooth Operator is a podcast where we explore the business of commerce content. Commerce content is emerging as a key driver of revenue for media and publishing companies. But, best practices for building the operations, sales, technology and culture of a commerce content organizations is still evolving.