New head to o'see expansion resulting from OTX sale
Online movie company IFilm has upped former chief technical officer Blair Harrison to prexy-CEO, replacing Adam Frank, who ankled several weeks ago.Move comes after IFilm’s sale of its OTX online research business to Zelnick Media and Robert Pittman’s Pilot Group for $30 million in January. Frank, who replaced co-founder Kevin Wendle as CEO in February 2003, spent much of his time working on that deal and stepped aside when it was completed. Sale took away IFilm’s most successful division but also one that was stifled by being larger than the company that owned it, OTX insiders said at the time. Although IFilm didn’t own 100% of OTX, it received a significant chunk of the sale price. Harrison, who has overseen all of IFilm’s online product development since joining the company in 2001, plans to invest some of it in expanding the company’s Internet operations, which primarily stream short movies and provide film news and information. “Now we can finally make some bets,” he explained. “We can focus on getting into living rooms, broadening our reach with new distribution relationships, launching new content verticals and expanding into other countries.” Exec has already launched a new service called Instant IFilm that sends content and ads directly to users’ computers. It’s in beta testing mode. Thanks to recent growth in the online ad industry, Blair maintains that the company remains profitable despite the departure of OTX. IFilm also owns the Hollywood Creative Directory. Frank will remain on IFilm’s board.