Tech Briefs: MacDonald Named Veoh Exec

Nov 13, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Veoh Networks, an Internet television Web site, has appointed John MacDonald president, giving him responsibility for content acquisition and programming. Mr. MacDonald, the former general manager of Fine Living Network and former CEO and president of InnovaTv.com, also held positions with the William Morris Agency and McKinsey & Co., Veoh said Monday in a statement. In the newly created position, Mr. MacDonald will report to CEO and founder Dmitry Shapiro. Veoh, ranked by Nielsen//NetRatings as the 14th-most-viewed Internet video site for the week ended Oct. 29, counts former Walt Disney Co. CEO Michael Eisner among its board members.

-Greg Baumann

User-Generated Site Debuts

A test version of Comcast’s long-planned user-generated Web-video service went live last week. Ziddio.com initially will let users upload videos related only to content being aired on Cinemax and Comcast’s Style Network. Comcast is inviting users to post video related to Cinemax’s airing of the “Star Wars” films in high definition. The best videos will also appear on Comcast’s VOD system, and the grand prize winner gets a trip to the Kennedy Space Center for a zero-gravity flight. The other variety of video that initially will appear on ziddio is tied into the show “Clean House,” on Comcast’s Style network. The contest seeks videos of the messiest homes and winners will appear on the program. A source close to Comcast said the test site is expected to be up for about three weeks or so, with a full site being launched in December. The full site will accept videos in eight categories: comedy, animation, games, movies, sci-fi/horror, action/drama, music and other. When the full site is launched, Comcast will be looking for sponsors for ziddio and advertisers for the videos.

-Jon Lafayette

Smith to Lead CBS Interactive

Veteran dealmaker Quincy Smith will replace Larry Kramer as head of CBS’s digital media efforts, the network announced last week. Mr. Smith has been named president of the newly titled division CBS Interactive, which Mr. Kramer led as president of CBS Digital Media since last year. The hiring of Mr. Smith could signal more aggressive growth for the new media division. Mr. Smith, who comes from investment bank Allen & Co., has been involved in several major media deals, including transactions for Google, AOL and Yahoo. Mr. Smith will lead digital strategy and media partnerships for the company and oversee the CBS Web sites and innertube, a broadband site offering original programming and CBS series. Mr. Kramer will remain with the company as an advisor.

-James Hibberd