Former CBS prexy Kim LeMasters has joined Replay Networks as chairman and CEO of the digital video recorder service.
LeMasters replaces Anthony Wood, founder of the Mountain View-based company, who had been serving as chairman and CEO.
Wood decided to hand the reins to “someone with more experience in the television industry,” a rep said. Wood wants to focus more attention on the technology side.
Wood on board
Wood will remain with the company and continue serving on the board of directors with the single largest stake in the company. He is advising LeMasters during the transition. A new title or the eventual role Wood will perform has yet to be determined.
“Kim LeMasters brings a vast array of skills and experience that will continue to propel the company forward,” Wood said. “He has been a positive force wherever he has worked and is clearly one of the most creative minds in Hollywood. We are thrilled to have him lead our team during its evolution into a media company.”
LeMasters will focus on making Replay a “full-fledged media company” that will work seamlessly with television distributors and producers.
Instant Replay win
With LeMasters’ relationship with the TV community, the appointment is a coup for Replay, which is trying to find any way to create a distance between itself and close competitor TiVo Inc., which offers a similar digital recording service.
Replay Networks produces ReplayTV, a service that automatically records preselected programming through a set-top box and enables users to pause and rewind live programming.
“It’s the first executive position in a very long time that has interested me, and I welcome the challenge,” LeMasters said.
LeMasters served as prexy of CBS Entertainment, leaving in 1989 to focus on becoming and writer and producer, serving as stint at Stephen J. Cannell Prods. He most recently was head writer-executive producer of USA Networks’ “Silk Stalkings.”
The news follows Replay’s announcement of a $57 million investment last month by several major broadcasting, cable and television players including Disney, Time Warner and NBC.
“Replay is leading a revolution that will forever change the way people watch television,” LeMasters said. “What Anthony Wood has done for television is comparable to what the Wright brothers did for travel.”
Other investors in the company include Liberty Media Group, Showtime Networks Inc., United Television Inc., Canada’s CTV and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., the parent behind Panasonic.