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Tom Phillips


Title:VP-online services, Starwave Corp.

Bio:Born in Framingham, Mass. B.S. in applied math, Harvard University, 1977; MBA, Stanford University, 1981.

Work history:Venture capitalist, Rothschild Inc., 1982-85; founder and publisher, Spy, 1985-91; current post 1993-.

There must be a sense of deja vu for Tom Phillips.

In 1985 Mr. Phillips created a similar buzz in the magazine industry with the launch of his talk-of-the-town satirical monthly, Spy. Six years after its splashy start, however, Spy's finances faltered and he sold his stake.

He hopes to go one better in his new undertaking. That seems likely now but looked far more doubtful just a year and a half ago when Starwave languished in a contract deal with AT&T's Interchange.

But then Starwave moved its services onto the Internet, cut a few deals and is now one of the industry's most active new-media concerns. Mr. Phillips has overseen some of the Web's most talked about sites, including ESPN's SportsZone (, Outside Online ( and the entertainment indus- try-focused Mr. Showbiz (

Starwave's success has left Mr. Phillips breathless as he learns to manage a 190-person staff, up from under 20 less than two years ago.

"It's real nose-to-the-grindstone-time," said Mr. Phillips, who stays up to the wee hours a few nights a week corresponding by e-mail. "It's all I can do to get home, have dinner with my family and put the kids to bed."

Betcha didn't know:Mr. Phillips participates in daily Starwave-sanctioned athletic activities and spent the summer training with his 20-something staffers for an ultra-marathon relay run.

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