Biz vets form safety ‘Net

Fusient Media created to help fund online operations

Several former biz execs, including past Warner Bros. exec VP of theatrical production Tom Lassally, are teaming up to launch Fusient Media Ventures, an investment firm set to fuel Internet startups.

Backed by other co-founders Brian Bedol and Stephan Greenberg, co-creators of the Classic Sports Network (now ESPN Classic), and past Miramax senior veep of intl. distribution Bill Marcus, Fusient has secured $30 million in first-round financing.

Companies funding Fusient include Redpoint Ventures, Allen and Co., Waterview Partners and Grotech Capital Group.

Bedol has been tapped CEO; Greenberg, chair; Marcus, senior veep of distribution; and Lassally, West Coast prexy. Redpoint Ventures partner Geoff Yang has been elected to Fusient’s board of directors. Other hires are to be unveiled soon.

The group’s mission is to provide fledgling ‘Net operations with early-stage funding and management support. Coming under Fusient’s wing first are online programming companies Broadband Sports, Gamesville.com, Akamai and Tunes.com.

“Successful content companies are built around management talent, unique concepts, precision research, market access and powerful promotion,” Fusient chair Greenberg said. “Our management has the operating and investing experience to identify these nascent businesses and the patience to help grow them.”

Besides firing up the Classic Sports cabler, Greenberg once served as deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of Major League Baseball. Classic Sports alum Bedol has worked on the launches of cable brands Nick-at-Nite and Court TV.

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