THE DEALMAKER: Hansen, Jacobson co-founder Craig Jacobson was 10 years into an eclectic motion-picture and TV practice when he met current NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman at Mipcom in Cannes a decade ago.
Stationed at William Morris’ London office, Silverman saw the future in reality TV, and Jacobson helped him form Reveille, financed by Barry Diller and USA, and the shingle would manage to nab global rights to U.K. hit “The Office” and “Ugly Betty” from Colombia.
When Jeff Zucker and NBC came calling last July, Jacobson successfully tabled the question of the company’s sale or divestiture until after the dust had settled while at the same time extricating Silverman from his deal with Diller.
“NBC was offered the company first, because the thought was, ‘This will make life easier,'” says Jacobson. “Then we solicited buyers. Even though we had this (mechanism to prevent a conflict of interest) in place — Ben couldn’t deal with any of his own shows; Zucker actually had to pick the shows — no one believed it.”
After talking to 10 other companies, they settled on Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine, which purchased Reveille for a reported $200 million.
KEY DEALS: Ben Silverman to NBC; the sale of Reveille to Shine; three Sam Raimi “Spider-Man” directing deals; Katie Couric’s last “Today” show and CBS deals; Ryan Seacrest with E!; “Quarterlife” webisodes repurposed for broadcast.
DEALMAKER DOS: “Think macro; prioritize your issues; think several steps ahead; stay calm; think about timing and whether you need to close slow or fast.”
DEALMAKER DON’TS: None
TOP DEALMAKERS ENCOUNTERED: Jeff Zucker, Les Moonves, Victor Kaufman