Updated from 4:09 p.m. ET to include additional information about the background of Elisabeth DeMarse, the company's fourth-quarter results and the conference call.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TheStreet (TST), the digital media group that publishes this Web site, named Elisabeth DeMarse as chief executive officer and president, effective immediately.
DeMarse, who will also join the company's board, succeeds Daryl Otte, who served as CEO since 2009. On Dec. 21, Otte announced plans to step down by the end of March. DeMarse previously served as CEO of Bankrate (RATE) and CreditCards.com along with executive roles at Bloomberg LP and Hoover's.
| Elisabeth DeMarse
"We are thrilled to announce that Elisabeth will be leading the Company in the next phase of its growth," Woody Marshall, chairman of TheStreet, said in a press release. "Elisabeth is an ideal fit for this key role at the Company -- a highly experienced and tremendously skilled digital media executive with a deep background in the financial information vertical."
DeMarse praised TheStreet's "fantastic collection of assets," saying in a statement that the company "is a pioneer in the field with a strong and recognized brand and has a unique position as a nimble, independent, purely digital player in a high-value media vertical. Moreover, the company immensely benefits from the many contributions of its founder and director, Jim Cramer, a true market savant who is certainly the most recognized personality in financial media."
Most recently, DeMarse served as CEO of Newser, an online news aggregator. A graduate of Harvard Business School, DeMarse was the CEO of Bankrate from April 2000-June 2004 and led the company through a turnaround that included a name change from ilife.com in September 2000. She has also been an entrepreneur-in-residence with Austin Ventures since August 2010, and serves on the boards of Insweb
, ZipRealty (ZIPR)
and All Star Directories
Other work experience includes a decade-long stint from 1989-1999 at Bloomberg LP, where DeMarse eventually served as chief marketing officer, and an executive position at Hoover's prior to joining ilife.com in April 2000.
Separately, TheStreet also reported its fourth-quarter results
after the close on Wednesday, posting a loss of $2.4 million, or 8 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, wider than a year-ago equivalent loss of $1.7 million, or 6 cents a share.
The company said, however, that average unique monthly visitors to its network of sites jumped 25% from last year, according to internal measurements. Revenue fell 3% year-over-year in the quarter to $14.3 million but was up 2% for the full year to $57.8 million. Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) came in at $2 million for 2011, up $800,000.
Asked about how business is going in the current first quarter on the company's conference call after the bell, Thomas Etergino, TheStreet's chief financial officer, declined to give specific forward guidance.
Etergino did note, however, that while the first half of the quarter was "challenging" as retail investors remained skittish, the company has seen "something of a rebound" in March.
TheStreet shares closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $1.80. Year-to-date, the stock is up 7%.
--Written by Michael Baron in New York
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