Execs & Accounts for October 10, 2003

Salon’s longtime chief executive Michael O’Donnell has stepped down to pursue other projects. He handed over his responsibilities to Chairman and Editor-in-Chief David Talbot.

“Now’s a good time to make a change,” said O’Donnell. “I feel the company’s in good hands.”

O’Donnell has held his post at Salon for seven years, presiding over the media company’s rapid rise and initial public offering (and subsequent delisting) on the Nasdaq stock market, as well as its more recent efforts to raise cash and remain afloat. He said he remains a shareholder in the company.

“With any small company, you need to give it 100 percent focus; you can’t dabble in other things,” he added. “I now want to work on some other projects, and it wasn’t fair to the company not to give it my whole attention.”

From May 1995 to November 1996, O’Donnell was VP of worldwide sales for Rocket Science Games, a San Francisco entertainment software company.

Elizabeth Hambrecht, Salon’s new CFO as of May, will become president of the Web publisher.

Eyeblaster has hired Kevin Wilk, formerly of Microsoft’s MSN network, to head its new office in San Francisco. Prior to his four years with MSN, Wilk managed Bay area sales for Microsoft’s “Sidewalk” online guides.

Eyeblaster launched its presence in San Francisco to provide greater support and service to its clients in the Northwest. It’s the company’s third new office in six months, following Chicago and Hamburg, Germany. Clients in the region include Carat San Francisco, Y&R MediaEdge and Organic San Francisco.

Additionally, Eyeblaster has brought its public relations efforts in-house with the addition of Corey Kronengold as corporate communications manager.

Redken 5th Avenue NYC tapped Semaphore Partners to build its Web presence, including all online strategy and media planning for 2004. Semaphore Partners will manage content for Redken 5th Avenue’s consumer and professional online properties as part of the initial engagement. The agency was selected from a pool of interactive ad agencies through a formal review.

Atlanta interactive shop MaxMedia Design has added Cingular, Chevrolet and Boys and Girls Club of America to its client list. The agency completed work for all three over the spring and summer.

Chevrolet, the largest division of General Motors, tapped the firm to develop a site to promote and gather information for the “Chevrolet, We’ll Be There” Mother’s and Father’s Day promotions. The site was part of a campaign that included Chevy’s sponsorship of Essence magazine and promotions with R&B and urban music radio stations.

For Cingular, MaxMedia designed and developed an interactive program for kiosks in certain Cingular retail locations. The kiosks were designed to promote the availability of SBC Yahoo! DSL service.

Additionally, the agency was picked to redesign the Web presence for the third annual National Kids Day, an initiative of the Boys and Girls Club of America.

PM.Zone, the companion site to Hearst Magazines’ Popular Mechanics, has tapped Interep Interactive to be its exclusive national ad sales rep. “It is with a great deal of confidence we entrust Interep with our Popular Mechanics brand,” said Bill Congdon, associate publisher of Popular Mechanics.

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