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Summary:

Online video network PodTech, citing a shift in focus, let go of web video personality Irina Slutsky on Wednesday. Slutsky, who had been with PodTech for a year, had brought with her the web show Geek Entertainment TV, and had helped PodTech put on the red-carpet […]

Online video network PodTech, citing a shift in focus, let go of web video personality Irina Slutsky on Wednesday. Slutsky, who had been with PodTech for a year, had brought with her the web show Geek Entertainment TV, and had helped PodTech put on the red-carpet Vloggies awards event last year. She had represented PodTech to the vlogging community, signing some independent creators to PodTech production deals and developing new shows.

100880753_78f72bca8e_m.jpgHowever PodTech, which had recently been unsuccessful in seeking a second round of funding to add to the $5.5 million it raised in early 2006 from Venrock Associates and U.S. Venture Partners, is trying to batten down the hatches. PodTech had released GETV back to Slutsky and co-creator Eddie Codel earlier this year, laying off Codel as a full-time employee but letting him keep equipment to produce the show and contracting him to work on another show, LunchMeet. Slutsky had remained at the company to continue working on the Vloggies and other projects.

In an interview last week about the general status of PodTech, Furrier told NewTeeVee, “I had a vision that [GETV] could be a really great franchise. But it just didn’t click.” He said PodTech had 37 employees, with 20 percent of them focused on commissioned content from the companies’ customers, which include Intel, Symantec, and Seagate. Other revenue streams include sponsorship of editorial content and providing video tools and hosting for companies such as the San Jose Mercury News.

Of trying to raise new funding, Furrier complained, “Everyone’s elephant hunting, but they don’t know what they’re looking for. I think a lot of people don’t really understand what PodTech’s doing.” He attested — this was a week ago — that PodTech could be cash-flow positive by the fall of this year without cutting current projects. And at that point, it would seek more funding.

Slutsky said in an interview Wednesday that she understood the move, as she and PodTech had moved in different directions over the last year and the company spending too much of its resources on her. PodTech had deemphasized projects she had been involved with, such as the Vloggies. Meanwhile, she has been working on producing non-funded videos such as Wednesday’s Dontcha iPhone parody.

Furrier confirmed the story via email on Thursday morning, clarifying that there are still part-time contract opportunities for Slutsky at PodTech. He said the company had spent more than $500,000 on GETV. He also stated PodTech has “millions in the bank.”

Picture of Slutsky by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid.

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  1. Nice article, gonna search some background info ’bout podtech cause the name rings a bell but i still don’t know which bell…

  2. Irina, Eddie… Let me know what the next move is! :D

  3. Well that’s an interesting twist.

    Last year at this time PodTech was a major force on the rise. They snagged Scoble and they hired Irina and Eddie.

    Then the Vloggies, Jerry Zucker (he did Ghost! and Airplane!).

    At the beginning of the year we almost signed with them. But we were spooked by a small understanding that we thought had been covered previously. But it made us think, and thinking is always a dangerous thing. Especially when you’re about to sign a deal. So we balked and signed elsewhere.

    Then Zucker’s National Banana came out…

    And the whispers of about money problems…

    The Lan Bui fiasco…

    And now finally firing Irina, the face of the company.

    I know that for myself, and several other vloggers, I only talked to PodTech because of Irina Slutsky. Irina was the personality that drew me in and got me excited abut what was happening over there.

    It sucks that she was fired, but she’s a survivor and some other company would be a fool not to hire her.

    -Kent, askaninja.com

  4. Marshall Kirkpatrick Thursday, July 19, 2007

    Irina’s got to be one of the best connectors of people in our part of the industry and she’s a hell of a person. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

  5. Changes at PodTech… « Scobleizer Thursday, July 19, 2007

    [...] PodTech, and watching and helping that company change direction. Yesterday we made some moves that are getting attention in the news. I wish Irina all the [...]

  6. best of luck to both Irina & Eddie, whatever they decide to do next… i’m sure they’ll have a lot of opportunities.

    and of course, there’s always a lot of Geeks who wan’t to Entertain on TV :)

  7. jonny goldstein Thursday, July 19, 2007

    500,000 on GETV? That’s kind of hard to believe. Where was that money going?

    Anyway, I love GETV. And Irina and Eddie rock.

  8. The $500,000 was for the VLOGGIES, it was already allocated by Podtech, putting that on the shoulders of GETV is wrong and unfair.

    I knew Podtech was doomed once their rep, Paul missed something like 3 appointments.

  9. jonny: hookers ‘n blow, of course! i had no idea we went through that many mounds and piles.

  10. Ahhh…the plot thickens. I have to say, I’ve been hearing PodTechPodTechPodTech for the last year and each time I hear it, the tales surrounding it get more negative and more weird.

    $500,000? On what, exactly? Seriously?

    I’m not worried about Eddie C. and Grande Dame Slutsky. Talented folk, they are, and they should be knee-deep in opportunities, Waist-deep, even.

    PodTech, though? They need to crawl out of the weird. “Shift in focus”, eh? I guess we’ll have to wait and see what this means, because if recent events are any indication of their “shift”, then they got issues.

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