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Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Gets New Leadership

Former Lava Bear Films executive Adam Rymer has been named president of Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Industries, while Comedy Central and CBS vet Jack Herrguth takes over as head of development of the network dedicated to fanboy fare.

Rymer and Herrguth join Nerdist as Legendary Entertainment, which acquired the company in 2012, is looking to turn it into a larger multi-platform pop culture brand.

For example, Herrguth will oversee the development and production of film, television and digital projects — including half-hour comedies, hour-long dramas and full-length features — in the newly created position, as Rymer looks for new revenue opportunities.

Based at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, company already produces a lineup of podcasts, a newsletter, YouTube network, its signature “Nerdist News” program and live events like the Star Wars lightsaber relay “Course of the Force,” timed around San Diego Comic-Con. Hardwick founded Nerdist in 2008.

“Chris and his team at Nerdist Industries are very well positioned to emerge as one of the real authentic voices in the premium digital content space,” said Tom Lesinski, Legendary’s president of digital content and distribution. “Legendary is very excited about what the future holds for Nerdist.”

Rymer served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Lava Bear, and executive produced “The Rover.” Before that, he spent eight years at Universal, most recently as senior VP of Universal Pictures Digital Platforms.

In Nerdist’s announcement of his hire, Rymer was quick to tout his nerd stripes, saying his first job was as a teenager at a strip-mall comicbook store.

“Nerdist has a proven ability to empower and engage its audience and our relationship with Legendary provides even more opportunities to level up,” he said.

Herrguth developed shows like “Nathan for You,” with Nathan Fielder and Nick Swardson, while at Comedy Central. He’s worked with Hardwick before, on a Nerdist pilot that was a precursor to the comedian’s late-night show “@midnight.”

“I am thrilled to have Adam and Jack meld into the Nerdist Hive Mind,” said Hardwick, who serves as its CEO. “They are smart, nice guys who are not only incredibly savvy but whose personal interests fall squarely in line with types of content we’re making.”

In addition to Rymer and Herrguth’s hires, Nerdist also has tapped Chris Michael as director of audience development and promoted Brian Walton to Editor in Chief of Nerdist.com.

Michael formerly was at YouTube network Fullscreen.

Walton has edited Nerdist.com since 2011.

The rest of Nerdist’s core executive roster includes head of production Seth Laderman; Christopher Fealy, general manager; and Molly Schultz, director of brand development. Peter Levin, who had previously served as CEO of Nerdist and sold the company to Legendary, left the post last year.

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