Management Shakeups from Facebook to Warner Music

staff changesPeter Lynch used to say, “the person that turns over the most rocks wins the game.”  The revolving door of executive management changes sometimes seems to fit that sentiment.  New strategies and new people come and go as individual and company both seek new challenges and new perspectives in the pursuit of their goals.    Over the past couple of weeks, from Warner Music to Atari to NBCU/GE to Facebook, even Sony’s Crackle, there have been a handful of high profile leadership changes.   

Facebook recently lost chief revenue officer and COO Owen Van Natta.   His departure left a void in the experienced leadership column for the high profile social network.   To fill the gap and add a figurehead with the balance of brains, expertise and managerial skill, they’ve lured away Google’s VP of Global Online Sales and Operations Sheryl Sandberg.

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Online Programming from HBO? In Treatment to Stream

in treatment streamingFrom Arliss to Sex in the City to the Sopranos, HBO has a history of being experimental with the original programming they green light.   In scheduling, they haven’t historically been as daring.  Usually their broadcast timetable is relatively traditional and consistent.   With their new program “In Treatment” starring Gabriel Byrne they gambled.  Unfortunately, the five nights a week experiment hasn’t panned out with audiences. Still, even in failures there’s a perk:  the show’s struggle to catch on has opened the door to a rare opportunity for the cable network to explore online streaming of their content.

In the past streaming has been a “do not fly zone” for HBO.  Click to Read More

Disney Tries Again with Mobile Service

disney mvnoFor all the achievements, kid centric, branded mobile phones haven’t been among Disney’s successes.  For that matter, all past Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO’s license airspace from other network operators rather than running their own cellular network) efforts, including an ESPN sports themed mobile service, have failed for Disney.  That isn’t stopping them from trying again.  Somebody in Mouse-land thinks there’s gold “in d’em de’re hills” and it’s just a matter of getting the formula (and geography right). 

Disney MVNO version 3, was officially revealed Monday.   The new service will narrowly target the Japanese market in partnership with Softbank. It will also focus on a new demographic.

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More Talent Agent VCs: William Morris to partner with Accel

WMA venture fundHollywood studios fight and follow each other in the search for their next blockbuster movies so it probably  should come as no surprise that the same “follow the leader”  “anything you can do I can do better,” mentality applies to the talent agencies representing  those in  the films.  And that’s exactly what’s happening.   Like one shotgun wedding after another, or the line waiting outside the Elvis Wedding chapel in Vegas, pairs keep forming between venture capitalists and talent managers.

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