You couldn’t ask for a more soap opera-inspired storyline. After infighting, layoffs and a failed fire sale attempt, digital content studio ManiaTV finally went belly up in March. But now founder Drew Massey is trying to resurrect it—albeit leaner, meaner and backed by far less venture capital. The NYT reports that Massey bought the ManiaTV brand and some of its old content back for a “small fraction” of the $26 million it had raised from investors since 2004.
The deal didn’t include the LA production studio ManiaTV relocated to last year, but Massey still plans to put out new series starting this fall—believing that he can fund production through small product placement deals and a “few million” in the bank. He tells the NYT that he will focus on “building a big branded business,” as opposed to the online video “platforms and networks” favored by ManiaTV’s previous backers (and most recent senior management).
Former CEO Peter Hoskins disagrees (what else would you expect, though?)—telling the NYT that the way Massey wanted to run things was “too expensive.” But Massey has managed to get the buy-in from some experienced media industry vets: Canoe Ventures CEO David Verklin and former NBC Entertainment exec Warran Littlefield, who have both joined ManiaTV’s board.
By Tameka Kee