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AOL for Broadband Names New COO

Kevin Conroy moves from entertainment side to take over day-to-day operations.

May 13, 2003|Edmund Sanders | Times Staff Writer

Kevin Conroy, the America Online executive credited with jump-starting its music and entertainment offerings, will take over day-to-day operations for AOL's broadband unit, reporting to AOL broadband chief Lisa Hook.

Conroy, based in New York, joined America Online in 2001 after spending five years as head of new technology and marketing at music label BMG Entertainment.

In his new position, Conroy, 43, will oversee the business operations of the AOL for Broadband unit, which has been the focus of the Web operation's turnaround efforts. The Dulles, Va.-based unit of AOL Time Warner Inc. is planning to unveil a new broadband product this summer in an effort to stem customer defections from its traditional dial-up Internet service.

As chief of AOL's music operations and later general manager of all AOL entertainment offerings, Conroy is credited with creating popular AOL features and programs. They include First Listen and First View, which offer premieres of new songs and movies, and Sessions@AOL, an original AOL online music show featuring in-studio performances and interviews with artists.

"He's created in just a year a large number of franchises in the entertainment space, which are all going gangbusters," Hook said.

AOL's attempts to offer a music-downloading service, however, have enjoyed less success. AOL's MusicNet, which permits subscribers to download songs for a fee, got off to a rocky start last year and failed to catch on with users. In February, the company unveiled changes in an attempt to make it more appealing.

Hook said adding Conroy as chief operating officer of AOL for Broadband will free her to focus on long-term strategy and partnerships.

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