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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Armstrong’

AOL Names William Pence Chief Technology Officer

aol-logo-9AOL has announced that William Pence is joining the company as global chief technology officer. Pence comes to the company from WebMD, where he served as executive vice president and CTO since 2007. He had also served as the company’s chief operating officer since 2012. Prior to his time as WebMD, Pence worked for Napster and IBM.

“Bill is a proven driver of technology teams and products and he has been at the heart of revolutionizing the way humans interact in the digitally connected world,” said Tim Armstrong, AOL’s CEO, in a statement.

Pence is succeeding Curtis Brown, who will leave AOL, “following a transition period.” Brown had been with AOL since 2010.

Pence’s appointment is effective April 30.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Keller Departs NYT | Armstrong Apologizes | Intercept Launched

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Bill Keller, Former Editor of The New York Times, Is Leaving for News Nonprofit (NYT)
Bill Keller, a columnist at The New York Times and its former executive editor, will leave the paper to become editor in chief of The Marshall Project, a nonprofit journalism start-up focused on the American criminal justice system. “It’s a chance to build something from scratch, which I’ve never done before,” Keller said, “and to use all the tools that digital technology offers journalists in terms of ways to investigate and to present on a subject that really matters personally.” NBCNews.com He is slated to begin his leadership position at The Marshall Project on March 1. The nonprofit venture was formed late last year by Neil Barsky, a journalist turned Wall Street hedge fund manager, who will serve as publisher. The Washington Post / Style Keller began his tenure by overseeing coverage of the lead-up to, and aftermath of, the U.S. military invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Times later acknowledged that its reporting on this period — particularly on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — was flawed. Under Keller’s editorship, the Times published excerpts of sensitive U.S. military and diplomatic files obtained by WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization that had received them from then-Army Pvt. Bradley Manning. The paper also published stories disclosing the George W. Bush administration’s practice of “warrantless wiretapping” of suspected terrorists in 2005. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “Bill has made so many contributions to the Times over his 30 years here, it’s difficult to quantify them,” Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the Times‘ publisher said in a statement. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media For all his feats, including leading the paper out of one of the most tumultuous periods in its history, Keller had a vexed relationship with members of the Times leadership: its publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., and its editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, who Keller has reported to since 2011.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Leno Signs Off | Carville Joins Fox | AOL CEO Under Fire

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Emotional Jay Leno Bids Star-Studded Farewell to Tonight Show (Reuters)
Comedian Jay Leno said an emotional goodbye to The Tonight Show on Thursday with a star-studded farewell led by actor Billy Crystal, after hosting the NBC late-night program for more than 20 years and handing the reins over to Jimmy Fallon. Leno, 63, who took over one of U.S. broadcast television’s marquee programs in 1992 from Johnny Carson, came out to a standing ovation from the audience of friends and family, shaking hands with many as he did in each show. Variety Characteristically, Leno wasn’t particularly maudlin or sentimental at first, at least compared to Carson’s “very heartfelt goodnight” that preceded Leno’s briefly interrupted stint as Carson’s successor. THR / The Live Feed Celebrity friends — or, in some cases, just celebrities — that appeared onstage included Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Chris Paul, Sheryl Crow, Jim Parsons, Carol Burnett and Oprah Winfrey. The seven joined Billy Crystal in a snarky musical salute to Leno, and Winfrey got one of the night’s biggest laughs by singing a line of Crystal’s slightly tweaked “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music. TheWrap The episode felt like an affectionate roast. Leno, once accused of jealously refusing to yield the show, was plenty generous with airtime. He left it to others to get most of the laughs, though he got plenty of his own too: At one point he said the real shame was that in all his time on the show, O.J. Simpson never found the real killers. The Washington Post / Television It wasn’t until Leno’s tearful speech at the end that this final show felt worthy of shelf space in television’s historical vault. “Boy this is the hard part,” Leno said, quickly verklempt. He thanked his audience and talked about how lucky he felt to have interviewed “presidents, astronauts, movie stars…” But he was most appreciative of his hard-working, union-labor staff: “The first year of this show I lost my mom; the second year I lost my dad. Then my brother died and after that I was pretty much out of family. The folks here became my family,” Leno said. “When people say to me, ‘Hey, why don’t you go to ABC, why don’t you go to Fox?’ — [but] I didn’t know anybody over there. These are the only people I know.”

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AOL Revenue up 13 Percent Behind Strong Ad Sales

AOL’s fourth quarter was a strong one. In fact, Tim Armstrong, AOL’s CEO, boldly proclaimed that it was AOL’s “most successful year in the last decade.” The company reported that revenue was up 13 percent compared to Q4 2012, backed by a 23 percent jump in ad sales.

The big winner for AOL was its Third Party Network, which saw sales increase by a whopping 63 percent during the fourth quarter. Included in the Third Party Network is Adap.tv, a platform which helps companies advertise on websites. AOL purchased Adap.tv in August of last year, a move that now seems extremely smart.

AOL’s total revenue rose six percent compared to 2012.

Morning Media Newsfeed: AOL Sells Patch | Yahoo! COO Out | News Corp. Ices Pensions

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AOL Unloads Controlling Interest in Patch (Capital New York)
AOL all but unloaded its embattled local news network Patch to investment firm Hale Global on Wednesday. Patch will act as a new limited liability company majority owned and operated by Hale. The hyper-local network was a pet project of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. It hired hundreds of reporters and ad sales staff in a bid for a local advertising market that has yet to materialize, eventually leading Armstrong to promise AOL investors that it would break even by the end of 2013. That did not happen, and the company began to seek buyers. NYT Hale Global, an investment company that specializes in turning around troubled companies through technological innovation, would essentially take over the operation, AOL said. Hale’s intention for now, the companies said, is to keep operating all of Patch’s 900 sites. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Forbes / Jeff Bercovici On its bare-bones website, Hale Global describes itself this way: “We specialize in creating value operationally in businesses facing strategic, financial, product and other challenges. In addition to capital, we bring to these troubled situations extensive turnaround skills, deep operational benches, in-house software and mobile development teams, extreme transactional speed and certainty of close.” Re/code In 2012, Patch lost $35 million; by the end of last month, it was still losing money. Now it’s someone else’s problem. TechCrunch Despite whatever downsizing may have taken place, Patch is still large, possibly too unwieldy to steer into better waters as it is today. But on top of that, it’s seeing decent traffic of 16 million people monthly according to figures from comScore. So now, the plan going forward will be to focus on a few changes to convert some of that traffic into revenues: new technology for community participation; more mobile-first and social experiences; better advertising tools and more geo-targeting for ad products, according to AOL’s announcement.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Patch Shutting Down? | Megyn Kelly on Santa | NYT Making Changes

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AOL Chief’s White Whale Finally Slips His Grasp (NYT)
Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, is finally winding down Patch, a network of local news sites that he helped invent and that AOL bought after he took over. At a conference in Manhattan last week, Armstrong suggested that Patch’s future could include forming partnerships with other companies, an acknowledgment that AOL could not continue to go it alone in what has been a futile attempt to guide Patch to profitability. He called it, somewhat hilariously, “an asset with optionality.” There may be a few options for Patch, but none come close to the original vision for the site. The hunt to own the lucrative local advertising market, Armstrong’s white whale, is over. TechCrunch If Patch is shuttered for good, that represents a significant blow for Armstrong, who has nurtured the site as a pet project since launching it in 2007 while he was still at Google. AOL bought Patch in 2009 after Armstrong became its CEO. AOL says the report that Patch is winding down is “factually inaccurate.”

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New Catchphrase? Tim Armstrong Deems Patch an ‘Asset with Optionality’

ShutterstockTimArmstrongFor Patch local editors grappling with shopping mall Santa features and overseeing in some cases a great many additional hubs, these words likely rang hollow. But to FishbowlNY’s ears, a portion of Tim Armstrong‘s remarks at this week’s UBS conference were Office Space-worthy.

Per a report by Ad Age‘s Alex Kantrowitz, Armstrong suggested that the possibility of a major impending partnership for Patch is one big reason AOL shareholders should view the hyper-local network as an “asset with optionality.” Rather than, say, an “option with assanality” or a “gigantic tactical embarrassment.”

We’re going to suggest right here and now: Any NYC media denizen who manages to seamlessly make use of this terminology at an upcoming holiday celebration will forever earn our admiration. That bowl of spiked punch? That empty conference room? That fully loaded copier? These are all, theoretically, “assets with optionality.”

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AOL Revenues Increase, Profits Plummet

AOL logo GAOL reported its third quarter earnings today. The good news is that revenue increased by six percent, from $532 million last year to $561 million this year. The bad news is that profits dropped 90 percent, to only $2 million.

The decline in net income was mostly due to Patch, AOL’s hyperlocal news sites that never quite panned out. AOL reported a $19 million pretax restructuring cost and a $25 million impairment charge, both related to Patch.

At some point, you would think AOL would stop the Patch experiment. The company regularly cuts employees and even shutters sites, yet Patch continues to be deadweight.

Tim Armstrong, AOL’s CEO, is either much smarter than everyone realizes, or much more naive. He claims that Patch will be profitable by the end of the year. Somehow, we just don’t see that happening.

Business Insider Welcomes Four New Media Figures to the ‘Silicon Alley 100′

The website’s annual “Silicon Alley 100″ list is set to post Thursday at 8 a.m. However, to whet everyone’s appetite, the BI folks were kind enough to give FishbowlNY an advance peek at the media folks represented.

BusinessInsiderLogoNew to the list:

Eli Pariser, Peter Koechley / Upworthy
Rich Antoniello / Complex Media
Bryan Goldberg /  Bustle

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Court Document Reveals Details of Arianna’s AOL Windfall

So it was nowhere near $100 million, the loosely reported territory that had many unpaid Huffington Post bloggers seeing red at the time of the site’s acquisition by AOL. Still, for Arianna Huffington, the February 2011 transaction amounted to some very nice Brentwood trickle-down.

TheSmokingGunLogoPer a nine-page internal AOL document filed in court and obtained by The Smoking Gun, Huffington scored around $21 million when AOL purchased HuffPo. Eighteen million in cash and the rest in the form of AOL stock options with a 20-month vesting period:

Additionally, her employment agreement – which was then being negotiated – called for Huffington to receive another $3 million in equity grants (stock options and restricted stock units)…

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