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New startup goes back to school

Digital College Network to target students

Courting college students has become key for Hollywood when promoting its films and TV shows. Now, a startup venture aims to make reaching them a lot easier.

Television and film producers David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud have joined Digital College Network to develop original programming targeted at more than 3 million students in bookstores and eventually online and on mobile phones.

In October, DCN began installing in bookstores its own flatscreen TV screens, which it programs with a variety of self-produced entertainment content and advertising.

DCN has screens in 240 stores. It has deals with 310 schools in the U.S. to expand the number even further, which will put its content in front of more than 4 million 18- to 24-year-olds in the fall. Programming on the screens is updated via a Web connection.

Company topper Chris Esposito tapped Salzberg and Tureaud to serve as co-prexies of the company and produce a slate of original programming through DCN’s own production studios, based on the Universal lot. The duo will also seek out brand and sponsorship opportunities.

DCN Studios will develop and produce original as well as licensed and student-generated content across multiple categories, including sports, comedy, music, lifestyle, environmental and news, that will air on the network and be distribbed across DCN’s website DCNLive, which is slated to bow later this summer. New content will be readied for the fall semester.

Salzberg helped found Peter Guber’s Mandalay Sports Action Entertainment and Mandalay Integrated Media Entertainment, which produces branded entertainment projects for consumer brands. Tureaud previously founded CyberAction, a multimedia sports and entertainment distribution company, among other ventures. Tureaud also spent five years as exec VP of Mandalay Integrated Media Entertainment.

The two founded HighRoad Entertainment last year and produced Little League Baseball pic “The Perfect Game”; “Running the Sahara,” helmed by James Moll and narrated by Matt Damon; and Burton Snowboards docu “For Right or Wrong.”

“In launching DCN Studios, we knew it was essential to partner with executives who bring the right mixture of talent and expertise, those with experience in entertainment, production, financing and brand relations,” Esposito said.

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