The corporate struggle at this little-known company, which is key to the pay TV business, just became a little more interesting. New Frontier announced last night that Michael Weiner “has been terminated” as CEO. It gave no explanation for the decision to oust Weiner, who co-founded New Frontier in 1995. While the board looks for a full-time replacement, the top job will be shared by CFO Grant Williams, Chief Legal Officer Marc Callipari, and Chief Technology Officer Scott Piper. A longtime director, Alan Isaacman, replaced Weiner as chairman. His firing comes as New Frontier’s board tries to chart a path for the company’s future, including a possible sale. The company has received bids from investment firm Longkloof as well as from Luxembourg-based Manwin, which bought Playboy TV late last year.
New Frontier produces VOD features, it also offers the Penthouse TV premium channel and pay-per-view services packaged as The Erotic Networks (or TEN) that include Xtsy, Juicy, and VaVoom. New Frontier’s stock has lost more than 78% of its value over the last five years, in part due to growing competition from the Internet. But the share price is up 33% so far in 2012 as investors looked forward to the prospect of a sale. The company hired Alston & Bird and Avondale Partners to advise a special board committee weighing options; Holland & Hart is also advising the company.
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