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ITV (LSE: ITV) broadband MD Annelies Van Den Belt is leaving the broadcaster after 14 months to head Russian online media company Sup, which bought blog platform LiveJournal in December. Via Guardian: “I’m leaving on a high but this is a match made in heaven in terms of my experience. The work on ITV.com is not done but that is the internet – it’s a work in progress, always.”
A lengthy and delayed £20 million redesign for ITV.com came to fruition last summer with an embedded web player offering seven-day catch-up TV – a player that in January got two million streams against 11 million BBC iPlayer TV streams. Design tweaks are now planned and ITV will be part of the Kangaroo player project involving BBC Worldwide and Channel 4. Online revenue grew 43 percent to £33 million in 2007.
Sup had already operated LiveJournal under license in Russia before buying it in December, three years after Six Apart had bought it out. It planned to open a San Francisco office to steer development, though Van Den Belt will be based in Moscow. Russian-speaking Van Den Belt will be general manager, with responsibility for the Cyrillic version of the site, plus sports portal Champion.ru, ad sales house +SOL and creative agency Victory. Van Den Belt, who previously headed up online strategy at Times Online and then Telegraph Media Group, had also previously been Moscow Times publisher and worked at Russia Business Review and St Petersburg Times, the release says.
Van Den Belt this month participated as a panelist in our Exploding Video event on TV and online video. Video of the event coming soon…