It’s a mega-merger of outre comedy brands.
Turner Broadcasting execs surprised Madison Avenue on Wednesday by announcing a deal to handle ad sales for Funny or Die that will allow them to bundle sales for the comedy website run by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay with TV and online inventory from Turner’s TBS and Adult Swim cablers and online extensions.
Turner Entertainment topper Steve Koonin gushed about the potential for the union to benefit both sides as he announced the deal from the stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom. “Imagine how we can use the power and reach of TBS and Adult Swim to drive even more people to Funny or Die, and how Funny or Die will bring new audiences to TBS and Adult Swim,” Koonin said. “Marrying these brands together will be an advertiser’s dream.”
As part of the deal, Turner has taken a minority equity stake in Funny or Die, whose partners also include Chris Henchy, a principal in Ferrell and Mc-Kay’s Gary Sanchez Prods., and Judd Apatow.
“We’re thrilled by our acquisition of Turner,” McKay said. “We’re now taking a long hard look at Viacom. These are heady days over here at Funny or Die.”
Funny or Die CEO Dick Glover said the deal should accelerate the website’s growth and yield creative fruit for both partners. “TBS, Adult Swim, Turner Digital Sales and the rest of the Turner organization are a fantastic fit with us in all ways.”
Funny or Die bowed in 2007 and has been one of the few talent-driven Web ventures to blossom into a viable business.