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AOL: A new buy, a new hire, a CTO hunt

Company announces the purchase of video tech company StudioNow, the opening of a new development center in New York, and its hunt for a new chief technology officer.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy

AOL announced Monday that it spent $36.5 million to acquire StudioNow, a start-up that builds technology for online video creation and distribution.

StudioNow be worked into Seed.com, the media clearinghouse that AOL launched late last year--around the same time that it spun off from former parent Time Warner.

Seed.com identifies areas of media coverage that AOL deems to be of interest and then assigns freelance journalists and photographers to the task. The StudioNow acquisition will make it easier for video content to be worked into the mix.

In a somewhat related announcement, AOL has hired former Google and Microsoft product and engineering manager Jeff Reynar to head an engineering and development center in New York, which is where AOL relocated in late 2007. AOL already operates similar development centers in Mountain View, Calif.; San Francisco; Bangalore, India; Dublin, Ireland; Tel Aviv, Israel; and its former worldwide headquarters in Dulles, Va.

"I'm excited by the prospect of finding engineers here and bringing new, young engineering talent to New York City to develop products that will make a tangible difference to consumers," Reynar said in a statement. "New York is the media capital of the world and bringing more engineering into the content business will make the Internet even more useful than it is today."

AOL also has launched a search for a new chief technology officer; current CTO, Ted Cahall, is leaving the company.