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RioPort taps 2 toppers

Firm ships in prexy, chair

HOLLYWOOD — Digital audio distributor RioPort will today name Jim Long prexy and CEO and Mark Thompson chairman of the board. Long, 44, was founder of streaming video company Starlight Networks, which was purchased by PictureTel. in 1998. Before that, he was a software developer at Hewlett Packard.

“I’ve been a tech entrepreneur for most of the last 20 years, but media have always been near and dear to me,” Long said. “Digital music is on the verge of becoming a reality, and I wanted to join a company that has an existing position in the market.”

Thompson is chairman of Integration.com, a company that provides Internet technology to wireless devices. Before that he was senior veep and exec producer at Schwab.com.

“RioPort has in place a highly skilled management team as well as the technical talent and the strategic partnerships that will make digital media delivery a truly viable opportunity for content producers, distributors and hardware manufacturers in the huge audio markets,” Thompson said.

San Jose-based RioPort recently signed several deals with digital audio providers, including MTVi, House of Blues and Ministry of Sound. Long said he wants the company to act as “the plumbing” to connect content companies to the consumer.

Tackling ease-of-use

“Jim Long’s experience in building and sustaining businesses in emerging markets will be critical in propelling RioPort from one of the companies in the digital media space to the leading company in the digital space,” said J.D. Heilprin, exec veep and general manager of RioPort. “Just as his work in streaming video and graphics truly progressed the PC industry, we believe that Jim will be a driving force in creating solutions that will address the ease-of-use issues for the consumer and transform digital media into a viable mass market opportunity.”

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