Norwegian co.'s Proteus buy facilitates transition
Hoping to capitalize on the growing appeal of mobile entertainment, Telitas has tapped a trio of former entertainment execs to head up its first venture in the United States.The Oslo-based company has formed Telitas U.S. to focus on providing wireless carriers and their subscribers with mobile content and other services. Telitas U.S. will have offices in New York and Los Angeles. Proteus spark New division is being formed through the acquisition of wireless player Proteus, which is already providing interactive entertainment services to clients including Fox Sports for the broadcast of the Super Bowl and NASCAR races using its PocketRocket technology. Other clients include HBO, ABC, Discovery and AccuWeather. Telitas will pool Proteus’ resources and proprietary technologies with its own offerings. Proteus, founded by Patrick McQuown and Timothy Shey in 1996, is based in Washington, D.C., with an additional office in San Francisco. Joining to lead Telitas U.S. are Kenneth Krushel as CEO; Russell Kagan, managing director; and David L. Simon, executive consultant. Kagan and Simon will focus on developing wireless content applications. Krushel was executive veep, strategic planning and business development for software maker Blackboard. Before that, he was chairman and CEO of software company College Enterprises. He was also senior veep of strategic planning and business development at NBC and senior veep of business development for King World Prods., and prexy-CEO of Think Entertainment. For the past 20 years, Kagan has served as principal owner and prexy of Intl Program Consultants. He also produced the TV miniseries “Joseph” and “Caesar” on TNT, Discovery Channel’s “Great Wall of Iron,” and CBS’ “Nicholas’ Gift” and “Jesus.” Channeling Fox Simon served as veep of programming during the formation of the Fox Television Station Group and developed shows “America’s Most Wanted” and “Cops” while there. He also helped create Disney’s Buena Vista Prods Intl., headed DreamWorks Television Animation Studio, and created Wyck Barn Media & Entertainment Advisors. He started Simon Bros. Media & Entertainment in 2000. Proteus founder McQuown will continue to serve as prexy of Proteus, reporting to Krushel. The Proteus executive team will continue in their current roles, including Shey as creative director.