PITTSBURGH--()--Cable industry veterans Michael S. Willner and Sidney R. Knafel, who co-founded Insight Communications and served respectively as CEO and chairman for nearly three decades are reuniting to invest in and lead a new media venture, Penthera Partners Inc.
“Our transition to a new media technology company, which is focused on next generation consumer experiences, is the next logical step for us. I have always focused on new, relevant products and services that benefit consumers”
Insight grew to become one of the country’s Top 10 cable companies before it was sold to Time Warner Cable for $3 billion in February 2012. Willner will guide Penthera as CEO through the next phase in its evolution; and Knafel will serve as company vice chairman.
“I’ve devoted my career to delivering reliable, innovative TV and broadband services to U.S. consumers. Now, consumers are shifting their viewing habits—they’re viewing, creating, and sharing video on smartphones, tablets, and other Internet-enabled devices. With its rich portfolio of products and IP, Penthera is uniquely poised to help the cable industry and other technology companies roll out innovative IP-based video solutions,” said Willner.
Penthera Partners is a privately-held software firm whose customers have included Tier-1 global device manufacturers and network operators. The company has developed a patented software engine that efficiently moves HD video between the cloud and smartphones, tablets and IP-enabled set-top boxes.
Willner has filled a distinguished leadership role in the cable industry, including serving two terms as chairman of the National Cable Telecommunications Association. As an industry advocate, he testified regularly before Congress on communications issues. He was honored by the cable industry in 2004 with its Distinguished Leadership Vanguard Award and named to the Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame and the Cable Center Hall of Fame.
“Our transition to a new media technology company, which is focused on next generation consumer experiences, is the next logical step for us. I have always focused on new, relevant products and services that benefit consumers,” Willner added.
Penthera develops patented technology that facilitates the delivery of rich content over cable TV and wireless networks to mobile devices. One product, Ribit™, is a cloud-based video sharing service that’s available in the Apple Store. Another product, Virtuoso™, delivers HD video to a smartphone/tablet for later play out.