New Frontier Media Ousts CEO Michael Weiner, Appoints New Brain Trust

Bob Johnson

BOULDER, Colo. — Beleaguered adult transactional TV giant New Frontier Media has terminated CEO Michael Weiner.

The company released a statement today saying Weiner has also been replaced as Chairman of the Board by Alan L. Isaacman, who is the founder and senior member of the Los Angeles-based law firm of Isaacman, Kaufman & Painter, P.C. and has been a director of New Frontier Media since 1999.

A committee of the company's Board of Directors will oversee the process for the identification and selection of the next CEO. In the interim, the duties of CEO will be shared by Grant Williams, the company's CFO, Marc Callipari, the company's chief legal officer, and Scott Piper, the company's chief technology officer.

The move comes after a series of recent legal hits including a breach of contract by Grand Tourisme Audiovisuel, a Luxembourg-based operator of adult transactional TV channels and Private Media Group that’s seeking $ 1million in a complaint that alleges New Frontier ceased payments in the middle of its deal.

Last July, in its annual report filed with regulators, the company reported that revenue from its transactional TV unit fell lower than expected in the past fiscal year, partly because of the availability of free porn on the Internet and that it would take a $3.7 million goodwill impairment charge for the segment after two straight years of decline, adjusting its five-year economic forecast downward.

The company's stock has reportedly lost more than 78 percent of its value over the last five years.

In an effort to right the company’s shaky course and appease shareholders, its board has been contemplating a possible sale spearheaded by a special committee of independent members with the assistance of legal and financial advisors that include Alston & Bird LLP and Avondale Partners, LLC, serving as legal and financial advisors, and Holland & Hart LLP, serving as legal advisor.

Recent suitors included bids from investment firm Longkloof Ltd. (with which it also faced a legal battle) as well as from Luxembourg-based Manwin, which bought Playboy TV late last year.

In today’s statement, the board expressed its confidence that under the leadership of the new brain trust the company will have in place a capable leadership team during the search for a new CEO.

New Frontier Media offers the Penthouse TV premium channel and pay-per-view services packaged as The Erotic Networks, or TEN, that include Xtsy, Juicy and VaVoom.

XBIZ contacted the company for comment but did not receive a response by post time.