AOL Appoints Google Exec to Oversee Scaling of Content Production

AOL has appointed ex-Googler David Eun as president of Media and Studios, replacing Bill Wilson after nine years in the post. Commencing March 1st, Eun will be responsible for the firm’s range of 80 content-driven sites, its SEED.com publishing platform, and its recently acquired video creation and syndication platform StudioNow.

Speaking with ClickZ, CEO Tim Armstrong said the appointment demonstrated AOL’s ongoing investment in original content and journalism. “From an advertiser standpoint, it shows our commitment to content, and that we’re striving for deeper engagement with our users,” he said. “For brand advertisers, we’re also aiming to provide the type of environment typically associated with traditional media, and to divert dollars as a result.”

Eun previously helped oversee operations at AOL as vice president, operations for the Media & Communications Group at Time Warner Inc. until 2006. He then joined Google as vice president, strategic partnerships, during which time he was responsible for managing global content partnerships.

During its first earnings report following its spin off from Time Warner, AOL announced total revenues fell by 17 percent year-over-year during the fourth quarter of 2009, with ad revenues dipping by 8 percent. During the announcement of those numbers, Armstrong further reinforced the firm’s focus on content production, stating “high-value properties” would bring “high-value integration for brand advertisers.”

Commenting on his appointment in a prepared statement, Eun said AOL has “a unique opportunity to bring together its core strengths in the key areas of content and journalism, distribution, and advertising to engage its users, partners and advertisers in a way very few companies can.”

In a memo send to AOL staff, Armstrong said, “Bill [Wilson] built a strong management team and laid the groundwork for the content strategy that we’re now pursuing. While I’m disappointed by his decision, I respect his intent and have asked him to work with me, not only to find his replacement but also to transition with that person to ensure that, as a company, we don’t miss a beat on the execution of our content strategy.”

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