Kliavkoff takes digital job at Hearst

Ex-NBC Universal executive in charge of digital expansion

NEW YORK -- Hearst Corp. has hired former NBC Universal chief digital officer George Kliavkoff to lead the digital expansion of its TV, newspaper syndication and licensing unit.

Kliavkoff, 41, has been named executive vp and deputy group head of the Hearst Entertainment & Syndication unit, the privately held media company said Monday.

He will report to another NBC Uni alum: Scott Sassa, president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. The unit houses Hearst's interests in cable TV networks, including ESPN, TV production and distribution, as well as newspaper syndication and merchandise licensing.

At NBC Uni, Kliavkoff, among other things, was responsible for getting the successful Hulu online video joint venture with News Corp. off he ground.

"George is a digital media pioneer with a long track record as an innovator and a change agent in both new and traditional media companies, and we are looking forward to benefiting from his experience and vision here at Hearst," Sassa said. "George will be an invaluable contributor as we look ahead to developing meaningful and scaled digital assets across the Entertainment & Syndication Group and Hearst's diverse stable of powerful brands."

Observers suggested Kliavkoff could grow Hearst's digital power through internal development and acquisitions.

Before joining NBC Uni in August 2006, Kliavkoff served as executive vp business at Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Before that, he oversaw the business development group for the consumer division of digital media firm RealNetworks.