Ex-Nick exec links to new Web vid net

Former MTV Networks and Nickelodeon exec Herb Scannell has landed at Next New Networks, a collection of video-based community Web sites that is expected to launch this year.

Scannell, who helped found the closely held company last summer, will serve as CEO.

Firm also announced it has landed $8 million in venture funding from Spark Capital and could seek other sources in the coming year.

Longtime MTV vet Scannell was prexy of Nickelodeon until early 2006, when he ankled after an exec restructuring at the Viacom nets.

Senior management at Next New includes a raft of former television execs, such as former MTV creative director and Hanna-Barbara prexy Fred Seibert and Jed Simmons, former chief operating officer of the Sundance Group.

New-media vets such as Emil Rensing and Tim Shey also hold exec positions at the firm.

Next New has yet to launch publicly. But in an interview, Scannell said the idea was to be to cable what cable is to broadcast — a set of niches that drills down further into specific sets of interest and communities.

A network on the Web, he said, could be defined as a collection of short-form programming that appeals to a particular group.

While the areas have yet to be determined, Net New will be a set of consumer sites that will all live behind separate URLs. All content will be ad-supported.

Scannell said the ratio between user-generated and originally produced content also has yet to be determined, but that the company’s mission was to think about television content online in a different way.

“Networks on the Internet aren’t going to be about what they were on TV,” he said. “What we want to do is take user-generated content and marry it to original content so that it’s of interest to a community.”

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