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Pressplay topper jumps to Infinity

Schuon previously held posts at MTV, VH1

Andy Schuon has ankled his post as president and chief executive officer of Pressplay to take a high-level position at Infinity Radio, under recently installed topper John Sykes, dealing a setback to the nascent digital music service.

Move is a homecoming of sorts for Schuon, who becomes Infinity’s president of programming. Exec has held posts at several Viacom units, including programming posts at MTV and VH1. He also spent several years at KROQ-FM, Infinity’s flagship station in Los Angeles.

Appointment is a reunion for Schuon and Sykes, who was Schuon’s boss when he served as president of VH1 for more than a decade.

Radio redux

“I made my first dollar in radio, and what initially attracted me to it still holds true today.” Schuon said in a statement. “It’s a playing field of ideas and creativity limited only by one’s imagination.”

Pressplay operating chief Michael Bebel was tapped earlier this week to replace Schuon. Bebel is a veteran of Universal Music Group’s online endeavors, most recently serving as exec VP of the major label’s eLabs division.

Slow start

Netco, a joint venture between UMG and parent Vivendi Universal, was one of two label-financed digital music subscription services to emerge last year as alternatives to free file-swapper Napster. However, both Pressplay and rival MusicNet received tepid reviews and generated few subscriptions.

Pressplay’s problems may have been compounded last week when Viv U topper Jean-Marie Messier — long a cheerleader of the company’s high-tech initiatives — was ousted by the board. New chief exec Jean Rene Fourtou has a mandate to cut costs and trim the conglom’s asset base.

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