Real hires former MSNBC.com chief

Merrill Brown, the former editor-in-chief of MSNBC.com, will oversee RealNetworks' subscription services.

Margaret Kane Former Staff writer, CNET News
Margaret is a former news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau.
Margaret Kane
Merrill Brown, the former editor-in-chief of MSNBC.com, has been named a senior vice president at RealNetworks.

Brown will oversee the streaming media company's subscription services, including RealOne SuperPass and RealOne GamePass.

"As content providers recognized the importance of the Internet for both getting their brand out there and monetizing the audience, subscription services such as RealOne will shape the future of content on the Internet," Brown said in a release.

Brown had served as chief of MSNBC.com since it was founded in August 1996. He left that company in June.

Real last week announced that it would cut more than 10 percent of its work force and take a restructuring charge of up to $6 million in order to cut costs and compensate for weak corporate spending.

The company has been making a series of moves to battle Microsoft and boost sales. Last month, Real embraced open source with its "Helix" line of products.

For the second quarter ending June 30, Real had a net loss of a penny a share on revenue of $43.8 million, in line with lowered expectations.