Synacor Investors Eye Board Seat

Two Synacor investors -- JEC Capital Partners and Ratio Capital Partners -- revealed in a joint Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday they might seek representation on the board slot of the TV Everywhere tech provider and Web portal creator, and possibly play a part in the company’s search for a new CEO.

JEC Capital Partners and Ratio Capital each hold a 4.9% stake in Synacor. According to the filing, they “intend to communicate with the Board of Directors of the Corporation regarding, among other things, the ongoing search for a new Chief Executive Officer, the strategic direction and prospects of the Corporation, and the capital structure of the Corporation.”

Depending on their assessment of those factors, they might also seek to appoint a representative to the Synacor board.

The filing was made as Synacor experiences some growing pains since going public in February 2012, when it opened at $5.75 per share. Synacor shares closed at $2.35 Wednesday, up 7 cents (3.07%) for the day.

It also comes as Synacor prepares for a leadership change. In March, Synacor announced that Ron Frankel, who has led the company since April 2001, will step down as president and CEO,  but plans to stay on the board and serve as an advisor. Synacor has not announced when it expects to name a replacement, but it has hired Mitchell James out of New York to conduct the search for Frankel’s successor.

Synacor, which recently added Canada’s Telus to its authentication customer roster, posted a first quarter loss amid drooping search and display advertising revenues.

Charter Communications, one of Synacor’s MSO customers, is taking its Web portal in-house and plans to re-launch it later this summer, Bob Blackburn, Charter's senior director, engineering advanced digital video, said at an industry event last week in Denver, according to CED.

Synacor’s been asked to comment on how Charter's decision will affect its ongoing relationship with the MSO and for a reaction to the joing filing by JEC Capital Partners and Ratio Capital Partners.

Other Synacor service operator customers include Armstrong, BendBroadband (soon to become part of Telephone and Data Systems), Buckeye CableSystem, Google Fiber, CenturyLink, Cable One, Mediacom Communications, Suddenlink Communications, WideOpenWest, Surewest Communications and Verizon Communications.