Exclusive: Facebook seeks exec to build Hollywood, media ties

Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:30pm EDT
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By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook is looking to hire a big-name executive to cultivate relationships and strike deals with the film and music industries to bolster its media offerings.

In recent months, Facebook had discussions with former MySpace co-President and former MTV executive Jason Hirschhorn about a job spearheading the company's outreach to media companies, according to several people familiar with the situation.

While the talks do not appear to have gone anywhere, and it wasn't clear whether Facebook had approached others about the position, the efforts signal Facebook's intention to take a more hands-on approach in helping media companies bring their content to the social network.

"They had held the media industry at arm's length for a while. It was: 'We are a platform, come use us all you want but we don't necessarily need to partner with you.' But now the attitude has changed," said one of the people familiar with the situation.

"They realize that one of the next phases in its evolution is to work with the media companies," the person added.

Facebook and Hirschhorn both declined to comment.

Facebook's media push comes as the company faces fresh competition from Google Inc, which launched a rival social networking service in June.

Twitter recruited former Creative Artists Agency executive Omid Ashtari to be its "L.A. person" last November, according to a report in AllThingsD.com, and the company recently appointed Chloe Sladden to a new role overseeing content and programing efforts.   Continued...