Silverman Out at NBC, In at IAC: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer July 28, 2009

NBCU executive Ben Silverman has left the company in order to pursue a new venture with IAC. Silverman, who came under fire for a lack of hits and his managing for margins style, led NBC to becoming a fourth place network. Silverman's new venture with Barry Diller is expected to "unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof."

AT&T has been getting blasted by the blogosphere for blocking, a content aggregator. The move happened after the company noted an attack coming from IP addresses connected to the site. While AT&T has restored access to the site, it has raised net neutrality issues as to whether or not a service provider can block access to a specific site.

Friendster, the social network which never really caught on in the US, is for sale. The failing network, which has enjoyed success in Southeast Asia, reportedly hired JP Morgan to explore a possible sale. While the company is the butt of many social network jokes in America, it did raise an additional $20 million and is focusing on harnessing its power in Southeast Asia and Australia, where almost 75% of its users reside.

Verizon reported a 21% decrease in profits for the quarter and is set to cut an additional 8,000 jobs. The communications company noted that most of the cuts will come from its land line division, which has continued to struggle. However, not all news was negative for Verizon, as its FiOS division increased subscribers by 300,000 during the quarter, for a total of 2.5 million fiber optic cable-internet-telephone subscribers.

Despite a slumping ad rates, Gawker President Nick Denton reported that the media company's revenue was up 45% during the first half of 2009. Apparently, the vocal Denton, who predicted that ad spending would be down up to 40% in 2009, made enough cuts in operating cost to increase business during the quarter. The infamous new media mogul noted "I'd rather be wrong and thriving than right and dead."

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV. Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at For information about Get Digital Classes, visit