Company also secures $6 million in financing
New media production and talent management shop Generate has secured $6 million in financing and tapped former WB network topper Jordan Levin as its CEO.
Levin has been with Generate as one of its co-founders since the company was formed in 2006, but a CEO post had not yet been created.
Funding comes from Velocity Interactive Group, the digital media investment firm headed by former News Corp. and AOL executives Ross Levinsohn and Jonathan Miller, respectively, and MK Capital, led by Mark Terbeek.
Generate will use the coin to expand and create entertainment programming across all media platforms, but with a focus on the Internet and mobile devices. Its content targets younger viewers.
“It’s important for us to remain independent, because our business model is about trying to syndicate out to as many sites as possible and at the same time allow an advertiser or sponsor to travel with that content as it migrates across platforms,” Levin said.
Company’s Web slate includes the next installment of “Pink: The Series,” about a female assassin, that’s shot as a live-action graphic novel; as well as comedies, “LaQuisha,” based on a character created by Ralph Garman of KROQ’s “Kevin and Bean” radio show; “Knockers,” from sketch comedy group Good Neighbor; and “Home Purchasing Club,” for VH1’s Vspot.
Offline, Generate’s behind the TV series “The Andy Milonakis Show” and “Wonder Showzen,” and is prepping the first season of “Somebodies,” BET’s first original scripted series. It produced the Comedians of Comedy and SF Sketchfest.
It’s also produced a comedy tour for American Eagle Outfitters and is working with Fremantle and Ogilvy & Mather on other branded entertainment projects.
Upon its formation, Generate had an exclusive content pact with MTV Networks to produce content for basic cable, broadband and mobile. That includes programming for MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Spike TV, Comedy Central and the company’s other properties.
But with that deal having ended in October, Generate is now looking to become an independent player in the Web-content-creation space.
“The investment will enable us to grow beyond our initial vision, and execute on our plan to offer creators the opportunity to use the web as a cost-effective place to develop, test and incubate ideas that have potential for other revenue generating platforms,” Levin said.
Under the company reorg, founding partners Dave Rath and Kara Welker will continue to run the management arm of the company along with partner Jared Hoffman, who joined Generate in January from CAA.
Clients include Patton Oswalt, Janeane Garofalo, Fred Savage, Brian Posehn, Al Madrigal, Adam Rifkin, Dave Reynolds, Chatman & Lee, Christian Finnegan, Arj Barker and Jon Reep.
Founding partner Pete Aronson serves as head of creative affairs responsible for the company’s development and production activity across all distribution platforms. Partner Ivana Ma is head of new media.
Rounding out the ranks, Matt Winslow, who joined Generate from ad agency Ignited Minds in summer, serves as VP of marketing. Anne Hong has been upped to manager.