Machinima names Ovation network COO Gutstein as new CEO

Machinima has seen its numbers slip, and numerous executives depart, over the last six months

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
March 31, 2014
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Things have been a bit rocky over at gaming video site Machinima over the past year. Despite raising money, it has lost numerous key executives. Hopefully, the company will begin to stabilize a bit now that it has a new CEO

Chad E. Gutstein, former Chief Operating Officer of the Ovation television network, has been appointed to the position, it was announced on Monday. Gutstein will be replacing Machinima's co-founder and Chairman Allen DeBevoise, who revealed that he was stepping down from his position as CEO, after holding it since 2007, in November. 

As COO of Ovation, Gutstein was able to grow the network's distribution to almost 55 million, up from just five million when he began there. Gutstein also founded Entertainment Media Advisors, a media focused consultancy; had served as Senior Vice President of BuyTV and Principal at WaterView Advisors.

"His fresh and respected outlook, deep knowledge of the TV and digital business, and proven track record will all benefit Machinima as we enter our next phase of growth," DeBevoise said in a statement.

"Chad's most recent experience building Ovation's brand and audience, and translating the value of its audience and programming to TV distributors and tier one advertisers, will help Machinima exponentially accelerate its mission."

Founded in 2000, Machiinimi is an online entertainment network that features clips and teasers from numerous video games. The site allows users to watch trailers, game play, montages, music videos and original Machinima series and movies.

The company has one of the most successful, and most clicked, YouTube channels, though it has seen its numbers drop dramatically in recent months.

In February it came in at number 69, with 45.3 million views. That is down from number 64 the month prior. In October of last year, it held the number 25 position with over 61 million views, down from the 19th position the month before.  Machinima had also the most watched channel of all time, until it was surpassed by Rihanna earlier this week

In addition to losing its CEO, the company also lost Philip DeBevoise, Allen's brother, who was also a co-founder, as well its President. On top of that, Allen's nephew, Aaron DeBevoise, who was Executive Vice President of Network Programming, also left. 

The company says that it serves more than 2 billion monthly video views and reaching over 175 million uniques each month, but with numbers heading in the wrong direction, and executives leaving, Machinima has to be hoping that Gutstein will be able to right the ship.

 "Machinima is a pioneer in the online video space and virtually invented the MCN business model. It isn't every day one is offered the chance to grow a global, category leading consumer TV brand with a massive and highly engaged audience," said Gutstein in a statement.

"We plan to profitably grow our business with engaging original programming, nurturing the best affiliate channel partner program, and creating innovative solutions to help marketers reach our young, male and highly mobile audience."

Machinima has raised nearly $67 million, including $35 million from Google, Redpoint Ventures and MK Capital in May of 2012, and then another $18 million from Warner Bros. Entertainment, with MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Google Capital earlier this month. 

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