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Top Entertaindom execs leave for start-up

Three top executives from Time Warner's online entertainment destination leave to pursue other interests.

Three top executives from Time Warner's online entertainment destination, Entertaindom, have left to pursue other interests.

Entertaindom president Jim Moloshok, executive vice president Jim Banister and chief operating officer Jeff Weiner today announced they are leaving the company. The executives, who helped create and unveil Entertaindom, said they plan to launch their own online entertainment venture.

The departures are not surprising, given recent changes at Entertaindom. As previously reported, Time Warner and its Warner Bros. division, which oversees Entertaindom, have been mulling whether to scrap a planned spinoff of the site.

Entertaindom was Time Warner's first foray in creating a series of Web destinations, or "hubs," focusing on specific topics. The hub strategy and the creation of Time Warner Digital Media was the company's attempt to develop Internet businesses in the wake of its failed Pathfinder effort.

But with its pending merger with America Online, Time Warner's online strategy has changed. Until the merger, the company had been pursuing a strategy headed by its Digital Media division under the management of former CFO Rich Bressler.

With the merger of the world's largest Internet and media companies, however, the need for a separately traded stock for the digital division was deemed unnecessary, Time Warner sources said in previous interviews.

Warner Bros. executives also cited the AOL merger as one factor in the changing tides at Time Warner.

"In light of the pending AOL merger, which brings with it a seismic shift You've got Time Warner in Time Warner's digital strategy, we certainly understand their desire to move on," Barry Meyer, Warner Bros. chief executive, said in a statement with Kevin Tsujihara, executive vice president of news media at Warner Bros.

Moloshok, Banister and Weiner's new venture will be unveiled shortly, according to Warner Bros.

Entertaindom launched in November 1999 as Time Warner Digital Media's entertainment hub. The site combines original programming with Time Warner-branded content, such as articles from Entertainment Weekly and "Superman" cartoons. The site had 1.3 million unique visitors in its first month, according to an Entertaindom statement citing research firm Media Metrix.