Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

A New Gig for George K: Hearst Digital Exec Running Hearst Start-Up

George Kliavkoff, who went to work at Hearst two years ago as as a digital media executive, has a new job.

Same employer, though. Kliavkoff will be running Manilla, a new online billpaying service, wholly owned by the publisher.

Kliavkoff more or less created the job for himself. That’s because he helped create the service at his former job, where he was tasked with building and buying interesting companies for Hearst using the geyser of cash it gets from a minority ownership stake in Disney’s ESPN.

Manilla is getting its formal debut at the DEMO conference today, but you can get a good sense of what it’s trying to do from this Business Insider post from last fall.

Bill payment doesn’t seem to have a direct connection to Kliavkoff’s resume, which include stints at and NBC, where he helped set up Hulu. But he insists “it’s the biggest start-up opportunity I’ve ever been involved with.”

Hearst has promoted Neeraj Khemlani, formerly “vice president and special assistant to the CEO for digital media” to Kliavkoff’s old position, which reports to entertainment head Scott Sassa.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work