Shamus, Guber, Levin partner on newsletter
Events like Comic-Con have proved that fanboys are a captive audience and often the first to feverishly follow the latest projects Hollywood has to offer.Gareb Shamus, the owner of five major Comic-Con conventions and Wizard magazine, has now paired up with Mandalay Entertainment’s Peter Guber and digital entertainment entrepreneur Peter Levin to court that crowd and launch daily newsletter GeekChicDaily. The free email blast and accompanying website, which officially bows today, timed with the start of Comic-Con in Gotham, aims to serve as a DailyCandy for the nerd herd and deliver short articles on new movies, TV shows, toys, videogames, comicbooks, Web sites and gadgetry, as well as interviews with the creators behind them. Scott Gramling, former editor-in-chief of FHM and Wizard magazines, is GeekChicDaily’s editor in chief. Guber and his Mandalay Corporate Enterprises, Japan’s largest talent agency and content producer Kyoraku Yoshimoto Holdings, and Ken Wegner, prexy of Jel Sert Co. (behind Fla-Vor-Ice), are investors. Levin, who brokered the deal to sell Nikki Finke’s blog DeadlineHollywoodDaily to Mail.com, was instrumental in lining up investors for GeekChicDaily. He was an early investor in Gamespy Industries, an operator of videogame-related websites, and serves as an adviser to Habbo, an online social networking site for kids, and in-game ad agency Double Fusion. Shamus has experience in launching newsletters, founding Wizard mag in the format 20 years ago. He also publishes ToyFare and FunFare magazines and owns the Big Apple, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto and Anaheim Comic-Con confabs through Wizard Entertainment. A number of websites have gone after geeks but typically focus on one sector of the entertainment biz. By focusing on all areas, GeekChicDaily’s founders believe they can attract a demo that advertisers are hungry to reach with their marketing messages. The site should especially appeal to Hollywood’s studios and TV networks, who have upped their presence at fan conventions around the country to give first looks at their movies and TV shows in hopes of generating positive word-of-mouth. “We think (GeekChicDaily) is a wanted commodity for an underserved constituency,” Levin said. “We want to give them stuff they would love to read but don’t want to spend the time searching for.” The focused newsletter concept has been successful for DailyCandy, which has signed 3 million subscribers since it launched in 2000, with brief pieces on shopping, products and dining. Comcast paid $125 million to buy the venture in 2008. “GeekChicDaily captures the passion and thirst these hardcore fans have for being the first to know what is cool before the rest of the world finds out,” Guber said. “My professional passion is all about storytelling; GeekChicDaily will allow us to tell pop culture stories in the most compelling way possible.”
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