Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Hearst’s UGO Gets New Blood, Still Needs CEO

Hearst’s dude-centric UGO site, which has been without a permanent CEO since June, is still looking for a new boss. But in the meantime, it has some new blood: The company has brought in Hearst veteran Christopher Johnson to run programming and product strategy and has hired Julie Shumaker to run 1UP, the gaming site it bought earlier this year.

Shumaker comes to Hearst from DoubleFusion, the “in-game” advertising company, where she ran sales for its core games group, and was at Electronic Arts (ERTS) prior to that. Johnson spent the last three years building Hearst’s magazine sites (Cosmopolitan.com, etc.), then took off this summer to run something called Modelina.com; he has also put in time at IAC (IACI) and Time Warner’s (TWX) AOL.

UGO is one of many players trying to capture a piece of the market for young men between 18 and 34 who like girls, funny things and videogames, and the company, which claims 13 million monthly uniques, is often mentioned as an M&A candidate.

But Hearst says it is still looking to hire a new CEO for the spot that opened up once co-founder J Moses left in June. Hearst Interactive president Ken Bronfin is still running the unit on an interim basis.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus