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Danny Zappin’s Zealot Networks Buys Converge Media Group Talent Agency From JB Smoove and Others

Zealot Networks, the digital-media company formed by ex-Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin, has acquired Converge Media Group, a talent management, creative and production services media company backed by comedian JB Smoove and others.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. New York-based CMG has seven employees. Zealot also recently acquired talent firm Premier Sports & Entertainment; separately, in December, it bought a majority stake in content licensing company AudioMicro, whose brands include YouTube music licensing business AdRev.

Zealot, based in Venice, Calif., has raised more than $30 million from investors including U.K. broadcaster ITV and former Maker execs and talent. The startup said the ITV investment values the company at more than $100 million.

CMG currently manages Smoove and other comedians, along with producers Madeleine Smithberg (creator of “The Daily Show”) and Ryan Ling (creator of “Guy Code” and “Girl Code”). The company also produces television programs including “Four Courses With JB Smoove” for MSG Network and has a branded entertainment business.

CMG’s “expertise in repping great comedic talent and producing quality television programs combined with their ability to create digital content for some of today’s leading brands will integrate seamlessly with our other portfolio of companies,” Zappin, president of Zealot Networks, said in a statement.

Rick Dorfman, partner of Converge Media Group, added that Zealot’s business model makes it an “undeniable one-stop source for any company in need of talent, strategic planning, content creation, production and distribution.”

Converge Media Group will continue to operate under its current name and will be led by Dorfman along with Conan Smith, Lou Calderone and Adam Benowitz.

CMG says it has executed branded-entertainment projects with clients include Oil of Olay, Verizon, Reebok, Microsoft, Pepsi and Mountain Dew.

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