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BlackArrow Names Pohl Chairman

Video-on-demand advertising vendor BlackArrow, backed by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cisco Systems, Motorola and others, announced that longtime cable-tech executive Michael Pohl has been named chairman of the company's board of directors.

Pohl joined the BlackArrow board in 2011. He replaces Larry Kramer, who was recently appointed president and publisher of USA Today, as chairman. Kramer will remain on the BlackArrow board.

"Michael Pohl has been a leading figure in the pay TV community for over 25 years," Kramer said in a statement. "His knowledge of the industry and his experience in helping technology companies successfully navigate the pay TV landscape are unique assets that will help BlackArrow continue to expand into new opportunities in the marketplace."

Pohl currently is a member of the board of directors of Ascent Media and was previously chairman of the board of directors of BigBand Networks, which was acquired by Arris.

Previously he was interim general manager of on-demand systems for Arris, following the company's 2007 purchase of C-COR, where Pohl headed global strategies. In 2002, C-COR bought Larry Ellison's nCube, which had just appointed Pohl chief executive. That came after nCube in 1999 acquired SkyConnect, an ad-insertion company which Pohl ran as president and CEO.

In 2008, Pohl received the NCTA's Vanguard Award for Associates and Affiliates.

"Traditional pay TV business models are threatened as consumers and advertisers demand access to live and time-shifted content across a variety of devices," Pohl said. "BlackArrow's proven success with major operators and its industry thought leadership position the company as a key partner for service providers as they define and develop next-generation TV advertising."

BlackArrow's customers include Comcast and Rogers Communications. Investors include Cisco, Comcast, Intel, Mayfield Fund, Motorola Mobility, NDS Group, Polaris Venture Partners and Time Warner Cable.