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IQ News: Sony Creates New Online Unit

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Sony Corp. of America and Sony Pictures Entertainment formed a new company to house and develop online properties including TheStation sony.com. The new division of New York-based Sony, called Sony Online Entertainment, will include subdivisions Sony Online Ventures and Columbia TriStar Interactive, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Management changes call for Lisa Simpson, formerly the senior vice president of business development for Sony Online Ventures, to become president of Sony Online Entertainment. Richard Glosser, who was senior vice president of Columbia TriStar Interactive, is executive vp of SOE. Mark Benerofe who was vice president of programming and platform development at Sony Online Ventures, will be senior vp at SOE. Former CMP Media exec Chris Tice joined the new company as vice president of advertising and partnership marketing. Tice will also be increasing the ad sales force.
The restructuring is seen as a vote of confidence for the interactive business, and for The Station, which has been online for a year and features such games as Jeopardy, Out of Order and Napoleon. The Station is getting new financial commitment from Sony and will grow its network of games by tapping the Sony film and television libraries as well as independent producers. The new management will also focus on gaming subscriptions. "We know advertising won't be sustainable in the long term," Simpson said. "We need dual revenue streams."
Tournaments and pay-per-play are planned, as are interstitial advertising and sponsorships. --Anya Sacharow