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Maker Studios Founder Danny Zappin Buys Website NewMediaRockstars

Danny Zappin, former CEO and co-founder of YouTube multichannel network Maker Studios, has acquired Internet video news website NewMediaRockstars, seeking to build it into what he envisions as an Entertainment Weekly for online entertainment.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Zappin bought the site from NMR’s founding investor, Ryan Devitis. The site’s original CEO, Benny Luo — who had left to work on other startups — is returning to the site as president and will retain an ownership stake in the business. NMR editorial chief Alan Van will continue in his role.

“NewMediaRockstars has had a great editorial product from day one,” Zappin said in a statement. “The challenge the site has always faced is working capital. The plan is to broaden NMR’s business model so that it can be to new media and online video what Entertainment Weekly was to the film, TV, and book business when EW launched in the early 1990s.”

Zappin’s relationship with Maker ended badly. After departing as CEO in May, he and three other founding company execs sued the YouTube multichannel network provider, alleging breach of contract and fraud in “ousting” him as chief executive. Maker Studios responded that the lawsuit was without merit and called the allegations “baseless.”

NMR, launched in late 2011, primarily covers up-and-coming YouTube talent with interviews and video packages of musicians and other online video artists.

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