TVN Hires VOD Exec

To help spearhead its video-on-demand efforts, TVN Entertainment Corp. hired In Demand affiliate-relations executive John Smith to oversee its VOD strategy.

Smith last week was named vice president of transactional-content distribution for TVN's Transactional Content Group, which handles the company's VOD services. Smith, who had been In Demand's regional vice president of affiliate relations, will be responsible for driving TVN's new initiatives to operators.

TVN provides an end-to-end VOD solution to both the cable and digital-subscriber-line markets, which includes digital programming, transaction and content-management services, the company said. Smith will also support TVN's relationships with file-server vendors and content developers.

He will report directly to TCG group senior vice president of business development James Riley.

"John has been a strong asset in growing the operations of a number of programming services," TVN chairman and CEO Stuart Levin said. "His strong relationships with MSOs across the country-combined with his keen understanding of the vital interplay between sales, marketing, operations and financial performance-ensures us of his ability to lead TVN's drive on the VOD front."

Levin said the company would aggressively push its VOD platform in the upcoming months. The platform provides operators with an end-to-end solution to offering VOD programming from the headend.

"We can load [content] over satellite and deliver it directly to the headend," he said. "We've set up an infrastructure to accommodate all operators' VOD needs."

Levin wouldn't reveal financial details of TVN's VOD service, nor would he say if the company had signed any affiliates.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.