Expanding ‘Planet’

Web site creator acquires Brookfield

Web site creator Creative Planet has acquired Brookfield Communications, founders of Studio System, an info service for the TV and motion picture industry. Terms of the pact were not disclosed.


North Hollywood-based Planet, which calls itself a “network of business-to-business vertical Web sites for creative content professionals,” will link its site users with industry hands tapping into Studio System’s numerous databases, the companies said in a statement.


Merger follows Planet’s announcement last week that it had secured $25 million in equity financing from Chase Entertainment Partners, Frank Biondi’s WaterView Partners, SunAmerica Ventures, Ares Management, and former HBO chairman Michael Fuchs. Other investors in Planet include Jack Valenti, Frank Mancuso, Sid Sheinberg and Sandy Climan.


Reaching ultimate goal


With the new financing, “Creative Planet will move one giant step closer to reaching its ultimate goal — to provide creative content professionals with the most enriching and useful business resources available on the Web,” said Allen DeBevoise, Planet’s chief executive officer.


Planet, accessible at http://www.CreativePlanet.com, has seven Web sites — VFXPro.com, EditorsNet.com, DesignInMotion.com, MediaTechnology.com, CinematographyWorld.com, TVIndustry.com and DirectorsWorld.com.


The company says also that it has “professional associations” with the Visual Effects Society, Motion Picture Editors Guild, Broadcast Designers Assn. and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.


Brookfield, based in Los Angeles, has been serving up its flagship Studio System since 1987. System provides TV and film credits and info on projects in development, talent representation and industry contacts. Clients include 20th Century Fox, Disney, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros., ABC, CBS, NBC, HBO and Showtime. Brookfield also offers the InHollywood.com site.


Enhanced content


By joining forces, Brookfield owner Jeffrey Lane said, the two companies “will be able to significantly enhance the content and technology supporting the Studio System product and provide even better service to our many clients.”


Under the new financing deal, publishing vet Sam Holdsworth, a partner at Chase Entertainment Partners, will join Planet’s board of directors, alongside Ted Leonsis of America Online, Alan Meckler of Internet.com and Stuart Wolff of Homestore.com.


WaterView is a private equity firm run by Biondi, former CEO of Viacom and Universal Studios, and Richard Reiss, founder of investment firm Georgica Advisors. With $170 million under management, WaterView invests exclusively in media, communications and entertainment companies.