The initiative is the media giant's attempt to leverage its wide range of content by creating Web properties arranged into topic-specific hubs. It then plans to connect the hubs with universal e-commerce capabilities. As previously reported, Time Warner is expected to turn out the lights on Pathfinder, its initial push onto the Web, by the end of summer.
The appointees primarily hail from the Turner Broadcasting side of Time Warner. The company appointed Lou Dobbs, president of CNNfn, to run its business hub; Steve Korn, vice chairman of CNN, to run its news hub; and Jim Walton, president of CNN/Sports Illustrated, to run its sports hub, according to a Time Warner spokesman.
Michael Pepe, who was appointed in January as director of e-commerce, will work with the different heads to execute Time Warner's Web strategy.
"[Pepe] will work with them to develop and execute a business plan to maximize the assets," the spokesman said.
The hub leaders will report to a four-member management team, which includes Richard Bressler, Time Warner chief financial officer; Don Logan, chief executive of Time Incorporated; Terry McGurik, chief executive of Turner Broadcasting; and Terry Semel, cochairman of Warner Bros. and Warner Music, the spokesman said. The team will report directly to Time Warner chief executive Gerald Levin.
The appointments also come as Time Warner is reportedly planning to appoint former Ticketmaster head Fred Rosen to run Columbia House, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Time Warner and Sony joint venture sells music and videos to club members and runs online retail site TotalE.
Time Warner declined to comment on Rosen's appointment. Sony was not immediately available for comment.