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Under-the-spotlight Babelgum has quietly promoted its chief technical architect Egidio Corsini to be its new chief technology officer (CTO), hoping to bury a year of animosity between its tech team and its new leadership. The heavily-funded outfit is also hiring general managers for each of its five key content areas.
Original CTO Mallku Caballero and his own architect Gianni Scenini left earlier this year in opposition to Valerio Zingarelli, who ousted Erik Lumer as CEO. In the wake of the tech shake-up, we’ve been hearing tales that all is still not well, with continued resentment toward Zingarelli from some quarters. Now a “major technology upgrade” to Babelgum’s desktop app is finally coming in a few weeks, content acquisition director Mark Cranwell revealed – but it won’t join rivals Joost, iPlayer and Hulu on the web: “It’s still a downloadable client, but it’s going to be very fast.” It will be a “light client” at 1.4Mb.
— Content strategy: Babelgum has been criticised for being yet another vast video platform with a billionaire backer – now the strategy comes to the fore. Having hired Indiewire’s Karol Martesko-Fenster as GM of its main film strand a few weeks back, Babelgum is now understood to be picking its travel section’s GM from Lonely Planet in the next fortnight or so. Other managers will follow for the three remaining core areas – nature, music and adventure sports. Cranwell: “Even though I’ve been out acquiring loads of programming, for the really big stuff we’ve been in kind of a holding pattern … we’ve identified some interesting opportunities but, until we’ve really nailed the strategy … now I can work with Karol to develop and execute the vision.”
— Commissioning and multiplatform: Babelgum used Mipcom to unveil its second documentary financed from its