San Francisco--AudioBase, a company specializing in the use of audio for Internet marketing and promotional campaigns, said Tuesday that it has hired Alan Nichols Jr. as its president and chief operating officer. Nichols previously oversaw the launch of The Chronicle Publishing Co.'s SFGate.com as the newspaper chain's exec VP and CFO. He also served as exec VP and CFO of Black Entertainment Television. Nichols' appointment underscores the move by executives from established media firms to Internet media ventures. AudioBase, which produces and delivers audio messages, counts Intel Corp. and Starwood Resorts Hotels Worldwide Inc. among its clients.