AOL Names Programming Exec

America Online has brought together four of its entertainment sites under a new programming head, naming a former Buena Vista exec to head up the new unit.

As VP of programming, Erik Flannigan will oversee Moviefone, AOL Music, AOL Radio, and AOL Television. He will plan and develop new content initiatives for both the AOL service and, the company’s new ad-supported Web portal. The development of these properties will enable AOL to offer more multi-media advertising opportunities to its clients.

“My passion for music, movies and television runs deep, and while content is king, how you present it to millions of users is just as important,” Flannigan said. “I look forward to developing programming that continues to build upon AOL’s innovations in these areas.”

Flannigan most recently was VP of programming for Walt Disney’s Buena Vista Datacasting, where he was responsible for programming and production on the MovieBeam VOD service. Prior to that, he ran Disney’s entertainment sites, and Before Disney, he oversaw the music and entertainment subscription business at RealNetworks. Flannigan will report to Bill Wilson, AOL’s senior VP of programming.

AOL began a push to develop original content in 2003 to enhance its broadband offering. A similar effort is centered around the company’s Web portal launch, with a massive Webcast of the recent Live 8 concerts.

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