TV industry veteran quits as President of Tivo

TIVO, THE maker of digital video recorders favoured by Sex and the City characters on their rare nights in, is losing its president weeks after announcing that its chief executive was giving up his day- to-day role.

Marty Yudkovitz, a television industry veteran who joined TiVo in 2003, said he wanted to step down as president to spend more time with his family.

Mr Yudkovitz has had a demanding schedule, travelling between California - where TiVo is based - and the east coast of the US. A contributor to the creation of the cable news networks CNBC and MSNBC, he was brought in to build closer ties to major TV companies. He will stay on as a consultant for a period of time.

The shake-up comes three weeks after Michael Ramsay, TiVo's co-founder, said he would step down as chief executive to be chairman. He said the move was so he could identify a successor to lead the company.

TiVo's technology is hugely popular, allowing TV viewers to screen out adverts. Its boxes featured as a favoured mode of relaxation for Miranda, the sassy lawyer in Sex and the City.

The company has recently suffered a series of knocks. As well as the boardroom upheaval, shares in TiVo have fallen 19 per cent since DirecTV, the largest US satellite TV service, said it would offer its own digital video recorders. DirecTV, run by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, is a partner in selling TiVo recorders, and its decision to offer its own recorders was seen as a blow to TiVo. News Corp owns 34 per cent of DirecTV.

The tie-up with DirecTV was part of TiVo's strategy to form partnerships with satellite and cable companies to boost subscriptions to its fee- based digital video recorder service.

More recently, TiVo has focused on consumers who buy the TiVo set-top box on their own and has suggested its future does not hinge on new deals with cable or satellite providers.

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