Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Ready for His Close-Up: Ross Levinsohn to Join Zefr Board

Former Yahoo exec Ross Levinsohn, who has laid pretty low since he left there earlier this year, will be joining the board of the Venice, Calif.-based video start-up, Zefr.

“Ross is a perfect intersection of everything we are in media and technology,” said Zefr co-founder Zach James. “He understands both sides natively, and we need that kind of expertise.”

Indeed — the company raised $18.5 million in additional funding this summer to turbocharge its offerings.

At the time, Zefr changed its name from Movieclips, and added sports, television and music videos to its film efforts. Zefr launched in 2009 as a niche video catalog site, focusing on helping movie studios collect and monetize fan and professional postings on YouTube, and offering advertisers a large network of premium movie clips.

The company said then that it had 600 million monthly views, 25,000 movie clips, and three billion total lifetime views on YouTube. It is about to celebrate one billion monthly views.

“Zefr has all the ingredients for success — dynamic, inspiring management, the ability to marry technology and content, and a business model that can scale,” said Levinsohn. “I’m thrilled to be part of the team.”

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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