Industry Moves: Friendster Hires Former NBC Exec as CEO; Declares Media Ambitions

Social networking company Friendster is getting big-time media supervision, in face of declining traffic: it has recruited Scott Sassa, former NBC Entertainment president, as CEO.

Sassa replaces former Yahoo CEO Tim Koogle, who was an early investor and interim CEO at Friendster.

This move clearly indicates media ambitions for the company: Sassa is keeping mum on the details, but said he has ideas about new interactive programming on Friendster based on the networking taking place on the site. Friendster is also defining its initial business model: advertising-backed programming rather than dating-service fees.

Reuters: Shaking off comparisons to Semel, who came to Yahoo after a successful stint as co-chairman and co-CEO of Warner Bros., Sassa said he would be looking at targeted advertising as a revenue model, but would not rule out other prospects. “Friendster, when it’s built up and working, will connect you to people you like and things you like to do faster,” he said.

And just for fun, you might want to read this Wired Magazine’s fawning 1995 profile of Sassa, when he was still the president of the Turner Entertainment Group.