Current Media Names Mark Rosenthal CEO

--Rosenthal Was Previously President and COO of MTV Networks, CEO of Interpublic

Current Media--the company founded by former vice president, Al Gore, and his business partner, Joel Hyatt, that operates Current TV, an interactive TV channel devoted to short-form informational programs, dubbed "pods," around 30% of which are contributed by viewers via its Web site (note: the channel, whose distribution partners include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon, AT&T, BSkyB, Virgin Media, and Sky Italia, also invites viewers to help determine its programming schedule by voting for video submissions on its site)--announced Friday that it has appointed Mark Rosenthal as CEO.

Rosenthal, who has sat on Current's board since its founding four years ago and who was previously CEO of Interpublic Media and president and COO of MTV Networks, replaces founding CEO, Hyatt, who will now assume the position of vice chairman. "Mark Rosenthal has been a vital and valued member of the Current Board since its inception," Current Media chairman, Al Gore, said in a prepared statement. "Joel and I are thrilled to have him join our senior team to accelerate Current's growth and success. His experience building some of the world's most successful cable television networks, advertising and new media companies is the perfect addition to our team as we open new opportunities for Current's domestic and international expansion." Added Hyatt: "Al and I look forward to working with Mark Rosenthal in his new capacity as CEO. Mark shares our passion for reinventing journalism, which Al and I are committed to doing at Current. While Mark focuses on building the business, Al and I will continue to work on new innovations and initiatives that serve to democratize the media and enable more voices to be heard."

According to Current, Rosenthal, who will assume his new role July 27th, has over 25 years of experience in the media business. During the decade or so that he spent as president and COO of MTV Networks, Current says, he led efforts to grow and extend the reach of the company's media brands geographically, and into such areas as films, consumer products and the Internet. According to Current, during his tenure revenue and earnings from MTV's operations more than tripled and its 100+ channels grew to reach 400 million households in 164 countries. He also helped lead the execution and integration of acquisitions that added such brands as Comedy Central, ViVA, Spike TV, mtvU, CMT and Noggin to the MTV Networks family, the company says. After leaving MTV for Interpublic Media, Current says, he oversaw all that company's worldwide media operations, including Initiative, Magna Global, Universal McCann, and various specialist media agencies with capabilities ranging from programming and content development to interactive, retail and media barter. He joins Current from Spot Runner, where he was vice chairman and president of media platforms.

Current claims that its channel has, since April, been available in 60 million cable and satellite households, and that its Web site attracts over 7 million unique visitors per month.

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