Smartclip’s Prohaska Leaves; Starts New Online Video Ad Network

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Matt Prohaska, the former AOL (NYSE: AOL) sales VP who joined online video ad network Smartclip as its North America CEO in March, left the company last month after only five months on the job. He has since started a new online video ad network, which is officially launching today. Prohaska tells us there were “major strategic differences” between himself and the Smartclip board; Smartclip COO Jay Drago says the company “is moving forward in a new direction,” although company representatives wouldn’t say more.

Prohaska says his new company, Open Book Video, is trying to differentiate itself by being uber-transparent with publishers about the rates they are getting, and with advertisers about where their ads are running. The company is also partnering with ad targeter Lotame to provide advertisers and publishers with audience data.

Prohaska says Open Book Video expects to sign on the first publishers to its network this week and add advertisers “a couple weeks later.” For now, the New York City-based company, which has 12 employees, is being bootstrapped, although Prohaska says it hopes to announce outside funding by year-end. He says he expects the company to be profitable by then as well.

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