Peter Kafka

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Blip.tv Looks for a New CEO

Web video distributor Blip.tv is operating without one of its co-founders, and another one is leaving the company.

Mike Hudack, the CEO of the six-year-old company, went on medical leave more than a month ago, and the company’s board and managers are interviewing candidates for a permanent replacement.

In an unrelated move, Hudack’s co-founder Dina Kaplan is preparing to leave. She has most recently been handling PR and marketing for the company. Both Kaplan and Blip’s management are describing her departure, announced to the company’s staff this week, as a mutual decision.

Cable industry veteran Steve Brookstein who joined the company in January as chief operating officer, is running day to day operations, but I’m told he isn’t angling for the CEO spot.

Blip has primarily focused on helping smallish Web producers distribute and generate ad revenue for their shows via YouTube and other sites. Earlier this year it also launched a new portal strategy where it started promoting the shows on its own site; at the time it said was generating 300 million video views per month.

Kaplan sent me this statement via email: “Blip.tv has an incredible future ahead of it. It has been 6.5 years, and the company is now in a position where I can begin throwing my heart into a project I’ve been incubating and am ready to devote more resources and time towards taking public. There’s no exact date when I’ll be leaving the company, but the company in great shape, and I look forward to speaking more about what’s ahead in the next few months.”

Blip sales head Evan Gotlib says Hudack remains on the company’s board, and that it expects him to return to his start-up eventually. “When Mike gets healthy, he’s going to be back at this company in some way,” Gotlib says.

Here’s a video interview I shot with Hudack in May 2010, when he was announcing a $10 million funding round led by Canaan Partners and Bain Capital. Blip has raised around $18 million overall.


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