PointCast looking for ISP partner

PointCast widens its net in an attempt to catch strategic partners from the ISP world.

Tech Industry
PointCast is looking for some big fish to catch. After canceling a public offering, the company has decided to cast a larger net in an attempt to snag an Internet service provider as an investor.

Nearly four months have passed since PointCast abandoned plans for an IPO, yet the company hasn't named a strategic media partner who's ready to step in and take a stake in the company.

PointCast now is considering the possibility of striking an alliance with a national Internet service provider, ranging from telcos to even cable and satellite companies--not just a media company.

"One is not exclusive of the other," said an insider. "PointCast wants to be the front-end portal and that's why they're interested in ISPs."

"These ISPs aren't necessarily the leaders of today, but those who'll be the major players in a couple of years," the source said, declining to list the potential players.

Discussions with media companies also are continuing and in the end, PointCast may have more than one deal with a media company, he said. Among those companies listed in the past are media giant and also cable player Time Warner and News Corp.

Although many industry watchers may have expected PointCast to announce a partnership deal by now, the insider noted he is not aware of any date set yet to close a possible investment deal.

In the meantime, PointCast has lost some top executives in its marketing department and realigned its management team. Earlier this month, PointCast executives confirmed that its vice president of marketing, Jaleh Bisharat, and senior vice president of sales, Douglas Boake, left the company. The executives resigned to join e-commerce start-up Emptor.

The company named Donald Albert, who served as a PointCast media content provider liaison, as its senior vice president for advertising and e-commerce. Additionally, PointCast appointed Robert Sofman, senior vice president of business development and international operations, to handle marketing.

PointCast officials declined comment.

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