Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Former AOL Media Boss Bill Wilson Rounds Up the Old Gang

Former AOL content boss Bill Wilson, who left the company early this year and landed in September at radio-station owner Townsquare Media, has been a busy guy.

High up on his to-do list, apparently: Hire a whole lot of people who worked at his old company. Wilson, who is heading up digital for his new employer, has brought on 10 former AOL team members and put them to work building out new sites.

You can see some of the results today at Taste of Country , a new music portal meant to compete with the likes of Viacom’s, among others.

And Wilson’s group is also launching new local sites for 30 of the 171 radio stations Townsquare operates. They’re scheduled to overhaul the remaining 141 stations within the next three months.

It will be interesting to see if Townsquare has any luck breaking open the market for local Web sales. Radio is traditionally driven by local ad sales (which is one of the reason that Internet radio still hasn’t really taken off after all these years), but radio-station owners have largely been content to let their Web assets languish.

Wilson’s team, which is trying to solve that, includes Jared Willig, who used to run Moviefone at AOL; Sun Sachs, formerly VP of design and product at AOL Media; and Pete Schieke, former head of AOL Radio.

Wilson was one of the last high-profile AOL execs to leave after former Google sales boss Tim Armstrong took the reins in the spring of 2009; he has since restocked the company with a long roster of ex-Googlers.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”