Tribune Co. Launches Digital Ventures Unit

shashi seth - P 2013

Internet veteran Shashi Seth will run the division that will create digital products and businesses for the media company led by CEO Peter Liguori.


Media company Tribune Co. has appointed Internet and digital media veteran Shashi Seth as president of Tribune Digital Ventures, a newly formed unit that will develop digital products and businesses.

Seth, who has worked at such companies as Yahoo, AOL, Google and the latter's online video arm YouTube, will report to Tribune CEO Peter Liguori.

Tribune, which owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and various TV stations, said the new arm will look to "leverage Tribune’s strength in local content and data and extend the reach of its distribution platform."

Located in Silicon Valley, Tribune Digital Ventures will operate as a stand-alone unit of Tribune.

“The launch of Tribune Digital Ventures as its own entity, operating outside of our publishing and broadcasting divisions, is a demonstration of Tribune’s commitment to its digital future and to thinking differently about the digital space,” said Liguori, a former News Corp. and Discovery Communications top executive. “We want Tribune Digital Ventures to have a start-up mentality, an entrepreneurial spirit, and tremendous freedom to operate."

Liguori lauded Seth for having "the perfect blend of passion, vision, imagination and experience.”

“Tribune’s businesses are built on content, content, content -- we have to find new and creative ways to leverage it for consumers,” said Seth. “That means new products, new applications, and new ways of maximizing the power and reach of Tribune’s distribution platform.”

Tribune Digital Ventures will also explore new ways for the digital use of original content developed by Tribune Studios and potential strategic partnerships and deals in the digital space.

As Yahoo’s senior vp of its connections business unit, Seth previously oversaw products that generated $2.6 billion in annual revenue. For example, he played a key role in the relaunch of Yahoo Search.

Before his work at Yahoo, Seth was senior vp, global advertising products and search at AOL. 

In 2007 and 2008, Seth was responsible for monetizing content at YouTube, where he grew revenue from zero to more than $100 million, according to Tribune.

At Google, Seth was the product lead for search from 2005 to 2007.

Twitter: @georgszalai