Braun Watch: Deals With MSN For Celeb Site; And Yahoo Too (Yes!)

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
Production studio BermanBraun, founded by Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun last year, is doing two interesting deals in the digital media space, with ironies attached: it has signed a "multi-million dollar deal" to make an original destination site for Microsoft's MSN portal, aimed at aggregating celebrity, entertainment and pop culture news, reports Kara at ATD. Thus it will enter into a fiercely competitive field of celeb content online, and this surely will be a point of discussion at our EconCeleb seminar end of July.

MSN had been languishing of late in its original content forays, and this will mark another go at it, in the midst of the portal takeover battles. Interestingly, Braun green-lighted Yahoo's (NSDQ: YHOO) celeb site OMG before he left the company, and now OMG is among he top such sites online, at least in terms of traffic. The MSN deal has some former Yahoo employees already working on it, the story says. Both BermanBraun and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) will be selling ads for the site.

Meanwhile, a smaller deal, but one to set some tongues wagging: BermanBraun has also done a deal with Yahoo, to develop something called "Lunacy Report", which will be a video report focused on "weird news," as Kara describes it. Vance DeGeneres, who is the executive producer of the HardlyNews online parody site and also brother of Ellen DeGeneres, will be the host. Weird indeed

BermanBraun has a first look deal with NBC Universal (NYSE: GE), and also did a deal last year with Pepsi Entertainment for online original content. No clear if Pepsi will be involved in any of thee projects.

By Rafat Ali