New Line to launch original programming on Web

New Line Cinema formalized its online efforts Wednesday, tapping Jim Rosenthal to serve as prexy of its new-media division.

Rosenthal had been serving as New Line’s executive veep of business development, managing the company’s Internet portfolio under the New Line New Media banner.

He oversaw New Line’s investment of roughly $5 million in youth-oriented Web site Snowball.com, marketing deals with America Online, and the launch of the studio’s film-memorabilia auction site in June. He also manages New Line’s online store.

Rosenthal will work closely on future initiatives with Richard Bressler, chairman of Time Warner Digital Media. Time Warner is creating five “hubs” incorporating the media conglom’s brands. Entertaindom.com, recently launched by Warner Bros. Online, was the first to bow.

Rosenthal said that New Line will continue to pursue investments similar to Snowball.com and will soon launch its own original programming on the Web to “feel out new things.”

“As we look at the Web, we clearly look at it as a place that we want to be playing and a place to target our audiences,” Rosenthal told Daily Variety.

Continues other duties

“I look forward to working with Jim and New Line New Media as we grow and develop Time Warner’s digital businesses,” Bressler said.

In his new post, Rosenthal will continue to oversee New Line’s business development division, focusing on strategic planning, new business opportunities, acquisitions, financing and other initiatives.

“Over the past several years, New Line has been steadily building a stable of new-media assets that add significant value to our core filmed entertainment business,” said New Line prexy and chief operating officer Michael Lynne, who made the announcement. “We are extremely enthusiastic about our future in this medium, and we know that Jim will continue to align us with partners who will define this industry in the years to come.”

Prior to working for New Line, Rosenthal was a senior associate with management firm Booz, Allen & Hamilton, focusing on new business evaluation for media and entertainment clients.

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