By Sahil Patel
The International Academy of Web Television has elected five new members to its board of directors, and will be announcing them shortly to its membership. New members to the board are as follows: Nick Fortunato, vice president and creative director, Dailymotion; Kent Nichols, director of creator and talent relations, Blip; John Orlando, head of digital development, Crackle; Jeff Burns, NY-based producer and creator of “Super Knocked Up”; Dan Unger, head of media network, Yahoo Canada.
They will join existing board members: April Grant, executive producer, Indie Intertube; Paul Kontonis, digital video consultant and industry veteran, and outgoing chairman of the IAWTV; Tim Street, a veteran writer/producer/director and VP of mobile video at mDialog; Susan Miller, writer/producer of “Anyone But Me”; and J. Sibley Law, founder and president of Saxon Mills.
Back when VideoInk first reported about the IAWTV board election process, it was said that Brent Weinstein, head of digital media at United Talent Agency, was “likely to” replace Jenni Powell’s vacated board seat. That hasn’t changed. Weinstein, who played an instrumental role in setting up IAWTV with CES, is still favored to join the board, which will make it official in September, according to a source familiar with the board.
There is also a question of who will replace Paul Kontonis’ position as chairman of the IAWTV. While no decision has been made as of yet, a source tells VideoInk that the position will also be announced in September.
It’s important to note: The IAWTV is currently in the process of securing a deal with an events organization for the 2014 awards show. The deal would cover back-end operational and promotional support for the annual IAWTV Awards, and would look to “enhance” the industry body’s current relationship with CES. The announcement should be coming shortly, as sources indicate to us that the IAWTV wanted to wait to elect the new board before making the deal public.
Speaking with a member of the IAWTV who wishes to remain anonymous, the individual said: “The IAWTV has come a long way under the leadership of Paul Kontonis as chairman, especially after the mess it was in after the split from the Streamys. Now it needs to decide what it will be when it grows up,” echoing sentiments made by other individuals in the organization in our previous report.
Some have called for the IAWTV to take a greater role in providing financial support for online creators and producers. Others see it has having the capacity to be an educational and standards body, as well as a “professional networking group,” for the industry. It will be interesting to see how the new board responds to those calls.