Anthony Farwell has been named president of the Santa Monica, Calif.,-based company, from VP-operations and corporate development at CableSouth, Birmingham, Ala. Bruce Cameron, 39, formerly VP-manager of personal financial management services at Imperial Trust, Los Angeles, has been named exec-VP-chief financial officer. Both positions are new.
"[Messers. Farwell and Cameron's] backgrounds in capital formation and media management will allow us to properly finance and manage our rapid growth," said Hollywood Online CEO Steven Katinsky.
Indeed, Hollywood Online is experiencing what many interactive trailblazers have already: the danger of being bypassed.
The company began as a provider of in-depth information about specific movies via commercial online services in May 1993. It expanded onto the World Wide Web earlier this year (http://www.hollywood.com) with a site offering downloadable film clips, audio samples and production notes.
But in the time since Hollywood Online took studios onto computer networks, studios have begun to put their own sites directly on the Web, offering the same information.
Stuart Halperin, Hollywood Online exec VP-marketing, said the company has grown from two to 15 full-time staffers. "Tony and Bruce are two very talented and experienced guys whose skills will help us take the company forward," he said.
That will include international expansion. Hollywood Online recently launched its service in Japan and is looking into moving into the U.K., France and Germany, Mr. Halperin said.
Alan Sutton, VP-publicity at Universal Pictures, Universal City, Calif., (http://www.mca.com) said he was "very inclined toward the Web. The Internet gives us access to a huge worldwide audience," he said. "Studios gain flexibility through the Internet, allowing us to customize campaigns and make for a much larger site" than is possible on a commercial service or through another Web site.
Hollywood Online also has other competitors to watch. MovieFone, New York, which began as a provider of movie information and tickets by phone, recently went onto the Web with a site offering similar services (http://www.movielink.com). But Mr. Halperin said, "While we're in the
same business, we're not in the same business. We have much more depth and we're in lots more places."