Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Exclusive: Viacom Digital Boss Greg Clayman Headed to Rupert Murdoch's iPad Newspaper

Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-friendly digital newspaper doesn’t have a launch date or a name yet, but it is hiring. News Corp. has tapped Greg Clayman, who runs digital distribution for Viacom (VIA), to run the new publication’s business operations, multiple sources tell me.

For some reason, News Corp. (NWS) people (who also own this site), don’t like to use the word “newspaper” to describe their plans for the news…thing. But as earlier reports have detailed, the idea is to create a subscription-based digital news service, designed expressly for mobile platforms like Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and Google’s (GOOG) Android phones and upcoming tablets.

New York Post Executive Editor Jesse Angelo will oversee the service’s editorial role. And if you did call this thing a newspaper, you could call Clayman the publisher.

For now, Clayman’s old job will be handled by a group of his deputies, Viacom said in an internal memo announcing Clayman’s departure (but not his destination) last week. Jeremiah Zinn will continue to oversee product development, but will now also run the company’s mobile business; Jim Eadie is running mobile and app distribution deals. Tom Gorke will run online distribution deals.

I’ve asked Clayman and News Corp. PR reps for comment. If I hear back from them, I’ll update here.

UPDATE: Here’s the memo announcing Clayman’s departure that MTV Networks executives Judy McGrath and Rich Eigendorff sent out on Friday:

From: Office of Judy McGrath
To: Office of Judy McGrath
Sent: Fri Aug 20 11:49:47 2010
Subject: Greg Clayman

We want to share the news that Greg Clayman, our Executive Vice President of Digital Distribution and Business Development, has decided to leave MTV Networks for a new venture that will stretch the range of his considerable talent, energy, and imagination. One of our best and most beloved digital gurus, Greg’s a guy we’ll miss having around, but we wish him lots of luck and happiness in the future. We thank and salute him for building a great team and accomplishing so much in his time with us.

Throughout his tenure at MTVN, Greg worked hard to get our content launched on every new and relevant platform, and make our programming among the most widely distributed in the world. He was respected by all his colleagues for his innovative approach and collaborative spirit. But maybe his greatest legacy is the phenomenal people he put in place to forge partnerships and create opportunities across the digital landscape. Moving forward, Jeremiah Zinn, a strong leader and digital guru in his own right, will continue his oversight of Product Development, including our growing and important apps business, while also assuming leadership of our mobile business, with Jim Eadie continuing to run point on mobile and app distribution deals. Jeremiah will continue to report to Rich. Tom Gorke will continue to be our lead for online distribution deals, but he’ll do so as a member of Denise Denson’s team…strengthening the digital deal-making capability CDM delivers through agreements with partners like Netflix.

Throughout MTV Networks, we’ve been fortunate to have a deep bench in Digital, and it’s great to tap into that talent in an even bigger way. This realignment will allow us to keep moving forward without missing a beat, in a time when new opportunities come to us almost every day. It’s the right team at the right time, and we know they’ll work to capture those new opportunities, and ensure that our business evolves and grows well into the future.

But, here in the present, please join us in cheering for Greg and wishing him the best of luck as he transitions out of MTV Networks. He’s been a great champion of our digital story, an even greater champion of our brands, and, quite simply, a good friend.

Best,
Judy and Rich


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald