At Big Frame, Shapiro will work with founder Sarah Penna to sign deals with digital stars, for projects at AwesomenessTV and potentially other outlets, according to sources. In addition, two members of Shapiro’s team at Fullscreen — Andrew Graham and Rana Zand — will be joining Big Frame.
UPDATE: AwesomenessTV officially announced the hires on Monday, Oct. 6. “We know that Larry, Andrew and Rana really understand the space and the unique needs of online influencers and have been very innovative in their approach,” said Penna, co-president and chief creative officer at Big Frame. Added Brett Bouttier, chief operating officer AwesomenessTV, “AwesomenessTV teamed up with Big Frame because talent is critically important to every aspect of our business; its growth is a huge priority for us as we continue to diversify the AwesomenessTV portfolio. With the addition of Larry and his team, Big Frame is well-positioned to be the premier talent management company of the future.”
Shapiro joined Fullscreen in April 2013. Previously, he worked at digital studio Fourth Wall Studios as EVP of biz dev, and prior to that was co-founder of social-media startup Xmobb. From 2000 to 2007, he was an agent at CAA.
AwesomenessTV, the girl-skewing MCN led by Brian Robbins, acquired Big Frame — which had developed a specialty in YouTube talent development — for $15 million in April. DWA acquired AwesomenessTV in 2013.
Separately, last month Otter Media, the online-video joint venture between the Chernin Group and AT&T, acquired a majority stake in Fullscreen. Founded in January 2011, Fullscreen talent includes YouTube stars the Fine Bros., Connor Franta and O2L. Chernin Group already was a minority shareholder in Fullscreen, along with Comcast Ventures and global ad agency WPP. With the Otter Media deal, Comcast is no longer an investor in Fullscreen, while WPP will continue as a strategic shareholder.