Start-up Hires CBS, Google Veteran

Patrick Keane, a digital-media veteran, was named the chief executive of Associated Content Inc., a start-up that syndicates user-submitted articles and video on the Web.

Mr. Keane, 38, was most recently chief marketing officer of CBS Corp.’s (CBS) CBS Interactive, a role he had been transitioning out of since earlier this year. Prior to that, he was a sales-strategy executive at Google Inc. (GOOG) who spearheaded the company’s planning with large advertisers and agencies.

His appointment signals some fresh momentum for the three-year-old Associated Content, which is one of several, including Demand Media and Howcast, that is trying to develop cheaper models for creating and distributing content online.

The company allows users to submit text, video and audio on topics it selects. The submissions tend towards how-to’s and subjects like whether to buy a hybrid car or how to get the best financial advice. The company indexes and distributes the media to other publishers and funnels traffic to it by optimizing it for search engines. It shows ads against the media and gives users and publishers a cut.

In an interview, Mr. Keane said the company’s math-based model appealed to him. “I really do believe that same math and science that has been applied to advertising can be applied to content,” he said. He added that after his stint at CBS, which included the company’s acquisition and integration of CNet, he was looking to get closer to the operations of a business.

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