Turner Shuts Down ‘Media Camp’ Startup Incubator

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Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting System has pulled the plug on Media Camp, the group launched in 2011 that focused on investing in and developing digital-media startups.

The cable TV programmer “has decided to shut down its San Francisco Media Camp office and its Emerging Technology staff on the West Coast,” Media Camp founder Balaji Gopinath wrote in a late Monday email to partners, a copy of which Variety obtained.

A rep for Turner did not respond to requests for comment. Time Warner declined to comment.

All told, Turner’s Media Camp invested in 27 startup firms, which included participation from corporate cousin Warner Bros. The group lays claim to launching the first video apps on Google Glass with CNN as well as working with other wearable device makers including Samsung Gear.

“A little over three years ago, the Emerging Technology team at Turner Broadcasting set out to build a better way to become part of the evolving startup media and advertising ecosystem and find unique ways for big media companies to invest, mentor and embrace the change we saw coming to our world,” Gopinath said in the email.

However, he added, “As much as we garnered support and had some great wins, we also encountered significant challenges from both internal and external forces. While our impact to the media industry and Turner/Time Warner have been significant, in the final analysis, we have not found the clarity and direction that we needed to continue.”

The shuttering of Media Camp comes amid a broader Time Warner cost-cutting effort across all divisions. Under that directive, Turner, HBO and Warner Bros. have laid off employees in recent months.

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