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Audible Names Baxter CEO
Steven M. Zeitchik -- 2/21/00

Audible.com has named Thomas Baxter, a veteran of the cable industry, president and CEO. The spot was formerly held by founder Donald Katz.

As a former Comcast and Cablevision executive, Baxter puts the audio provider in a position to make use of expanding Web technologies like broadband, and thus make downloadable and streamed spoken-word more popular. While at Comcast, Baxter was instrumental in launching Comcast@home, the company's cable modem service.

Baxter told PW that the coming changes in distribution technologies could serve as a boon for Audible. "Where we could really play a role is in becoming a companion to people's broadband strategies," he said. Baxter said he envisions Audible as a company that makes audio content available off the Web in many forms, from books to newspaper articles to even shorter material.

Despite Audible's branded site, this task g s beyond the PC. "We must continue our relationship with [customers] outside the home," he said, by using digital players like the Rio for spoken-word audio. "We need to do more to make sure people see that these devices are multifaceted," Baxter said.

Among Audible's strategies: partner with well-known e-commerce and portal sites like Amazon. And the company will soon kick off a weekly program featuring Robin Williams.

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