John Batter has been named CEO of Gracenote and executive vice president of Tribune Media, a new post that comes about six months after Tribune acquired the video metadata and technology company from Sony for about $170 million.
Batter, the former CEO of M-GO, the electronic sell-through and movie and TV streaming service joint venture of DreamWorks Entertainment and Technicolor, assumes his new role at Gracenote on September 2, reporting to Tribune Media president and CEO Peter Ligouri. Batter's tasked with leading Gracenote's day-to-day operations, setting the company's strategic direction, and driving growth for Gracenote’s core music and video metadata and technology businesses, the company said.
Before taking the helm of M-GO, Batter was as president of production at DreamWorks Animation, and has previously held exec roles at Electronic Arts, including general manager in the company’s mobile and studio groups.
Batter succeeds former Gracenote president Stephen White, who decided to leave the company in May 2014 after 13 years with the company. Tribune Digital president and interim Gracenote CEO Shashi Seth is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities, TechCrunch reported.
“As we look to develop and grow our metadata business, we decided to bring in a CEO with strong operational experience to lead this effort globally,” Liguori said in a statement. “John’s strong digital experience in on-demand streaming services and video games combined with his studio experience make him a terrific fit to lead Gracenote into the future. As a customer of TMS while at M-GO, John has a deep understanding of the business, the emerging platforms and players, and the role metadata has in reimagining entertainment experiences.”
Among other recent M&A action, Tribune Digital Ventures snapped up What’s-ON, a TV search and electronic program guide data provider for India and the Middle East, for $27 million.
“As more devices and entertainment services become connected and personalized to users, the importance of Gracenote’s metadata is becoming clear,” Batter said in a statement. This is a unique opportunity to join the talented team at Gracenote to drive the evolution of data and technologies into new services and features for our customers around the world.”
M-GO confirmed that Christophe Louvion, the company’s chief technology officer, has assumed the role of COO, and he will oversee day-to-day leadership of M-GO.