Demand Media co-founder, chairman, CEO Rosenblatt exits


By Jennifer Saba

Oct 14 (Reuters) - Demand Media Inc Chairman and CEORichard Rosenblatt is leaving the online content company heco-founded, its board announced on Monday.

The directors named Shawn Colo, who is also a co-founder, asthe company's interim president and chief executive. JamesQuandt, a board member, was named chairman.

The board said in a news release it would start a search fora permanent CEO shortly.

"I realize that all journeys must ultimately come to an endand want to wish Shawn and the entire team success as theycontinue to grow the business," Rosenblatt said in the release.

Rosenblatt did not immediately respond to a request forcomment and a spokeswoman said the company had no comment beyondthe release.

Demand offered scant clues on Rosenblatt's sudden exit. Hehas led Demand Media and been a constant presence duringearnings calls since the company went public in 2011.

Jordan Rohan, an analyst with Stifel, wrote in a note toinvestors, "The change is not entirely surprising given thepressure from Google's (algorithm) changes on the contentbusiness, the overall strategic drift in the company and waningshare price."

Founded in 2006, Demand Media was a closely watchedexperiment in how to create content inexpensively by tapping anetwork of thousands of freelancers for "how-to" articles andvideos. It makes money from advertising when its content showsup high on search results.

It owns sites such as eHow, Cracked and Livestrong as wellas a top-level domain business, which it is planning to spinout.

In recent years, Demand Media has been hurt by changesGoogle Inc has made to its search algorithm meant toweed out content that it said was of lesser quality. Demandrelies heavily on Google for traffic referrals.

Shares of Demand Media were unchanged in after-hours tradingon Monday after closing flat at $5.85. In the past year, sharesare down 44 percent.

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