Robert Friedman (44), a founding member of MTV and its former director for marketing, promotion and licensing, is today named president of AOL TV, the recently launched interactive television arm of AOL Time Warner.

Friedman will report to AOL chairman and chief executive Barry Schuler who until now had supervised the stripling company. Until today, co-chairman of AOL-TW's New Line Marketing and president of New Line Television, Friedman must find a way of persuading reluctant consumers to buy the new service. Rival Microsoft product, Web TV, has encountered similar resistance from Joe Public.

Using a set-top box, AOL TV allows viewers to surf the web, send email and chat live via a cordless keyboard that activates AOL’s standard browsing features.

More significantly, it also enables viewers to purchase goods as they are advertised, play along with game shows and tap into additional information on program subject matter.

News source: New York Times