America Online announces that it has promoted former entertainment division head Kevin Conroy to run operations for its broadband service.
In this new position, Conroy will oversee all business operations at AOL for Broadband, a version of the AOL service geared for high-speed Internet users. He will report to Lisa Hook, president of the broadband unit. AOL's executive vice president for programming, Jim Bankoff, will oversee AOL Entertainment.
Up to now, Conroy has spearheaded AOL's entertainment efforts, building out the service's online music, video and gaming properties. A former marketing executive at Bertelsmann's record company, BMG Music, Conroy joined AOL in January 2001.
Conroy consolidated AOL's various online entertainment properties, such as the Winamp media player, Spinner online radio service and streaming media efforts, into one operating division that tried to create original programming and technology. One manifestation of these efforts was Radio@AOL for Broadband, an online radio service that used its home-grown Ultravox technology to stream music onto PCs.
The appointment comes as AOL, the online division of media giant AOL Time Warner, faces declines among its core dial-up subscribers, many of whom have jumped ship for other broadband providers. As a defensive maneuver, the company has tried marketing a broadband version of its service to defectors, hoping they will pay $14.95 a month on top of their broadband bill to maintain their AOL account.
Last month, AOL reported that its U.S. subscriber base declined by 289,000 members from the previous quarter.