The team at DCN is saddened to hear of the passing of Curt Hecht. He was a close member of our community and the entire digital media world. Curt made significant and lasting contributions on behalf of advertisers, agencies and programmers that have changed the business. We will miss him and send his family and colleagues our deepest condolences.
Those who would like to make a donation to the Hecht girls’ education fund, can do so here.
A Personal Note from CEO, David Kenny, to The Weather Company Family
Dear Weather Company Family,
I am incredibly sad to share the incomprehensible news that we have lost our dear friend and colleague, Curt Hecht, to lung cancer. Curt was battling lung cancer over the last five months, something that is almost impossible to believe given what an amazing athlete he was and that he never smoked. Life is neither fair nor predictable.
I have known Curt for at least one third of his short 48 years, and I can tell you that his life mattered in countless ways. His life mattered most to his wife, the love of his life, and his two beautiful, young daughters.
Curt’s life mattered to the digital advertising industry, as he pioneered countless innovations with his clients at Starcom MediaVest, VivaKi, Publicis, and The Weather Company. Curt was an early pioneer in search, “native” advertising, localization, social-informed ads, and retargeting. Curt created the first agency trading desk.
Curt’s life mattered to The Weather Company. He recruited and developed an extraordinary team. He strengthened our relationships with key partners, including Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Hearst. He had the vision for WeatherFX, which has totally changed the value of our audience to advertisers. He championed the best programmatic operation in the industry.
Curt’s life and friendship mattered to me. Curt and I had breakfast in Las Vegas during CES 2012, and he encouraged me to take the risk and realize the potential of transforming The Weather Channel Companies. A few months later, he took his own risk to join us. In every tough situation, Curt kept me anchored on what matters — family first, our people second, clients and audience third, and the money will take care of itself. Curt and I both dream big, but he is the one who could turn the dream into a reality. When daily pressures created chaos and drama, Curt would prioritize and keep us focused on the most important and critical matters.
Curt only shared his cancer battle with a few people. He did not want a fuss, or pity, or distraction. Those of us close to him developed an aspiration to be “just half as tough as Curt.” To him, cancer was like a challenging bike ride. He attacked it with grit and determination, and fearlessly agreed to clinical trials so that others could also learn from his fight.
Curt’s life mattered, and he is simply irreplaceable. His spirit is still with us, and we will continue our success if we are only “half as strong as Curt.” I miss you already, Curt. I am sure we all do.