×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Verizon, Hearst Form ‘Complex Networks’ Digital-Video Business, Headed by Rich Antoniello

Verizon and Hearst have named their digital-video networks joint venture Complex Networks, and they have put Rich Antoniello, formerly CEO of Complex, in charge of the operation.

The Complex Networks banner will combine Complex Media, the digital-media company focused on millennial males that Verizon and Hearst acquired earlier this year, with the JV’s two recently launched digital video networks: RatedRed.com, a lifestyle brand aimed at millennials in conservative-leaning “red states,” and Seriously.TV, a news-comedy channel patterned on late-night TV formats.

Antoniello is CEO of Complex Networks, which is based in New York City and owned 50-50 by Verizon and Hearst. In addition, Neeraj Khemlani, president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, and Brian Angiolet, senior VP of Verizon’s consumer product portfolio, will assume the roles of co-chairmen of Complex Networks.

Separately, Verizon and Hearst also own stakes in AwesomenessTV, which is majority owned by Comcast (which recently completed its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation).

The idea with the creation of Complex Networks is to create a collection of digital-oriented brands geared around video and social content, aimed largely at audiences that are veering away from traditional TV. Its website is ComplexNetworks.com.

“We want those multiplatform brands to deliver short-form content to mobile and social channels, as well as premium video content and audiences to our partner, Verizon, and other SVOD and linear distribution platforms,” Khemlani said in a statement.

The formation of Complex Networks “helps us further diversify our content and distribution businesses within the Verizon digital media portfolio, and sharpen our focus on these networks for this newer generation,” Angiolet added.

Complex, which was co-founded by Antoniello and fashion designer Marc Ecko in 2002, attracts more than 52 million unique visitors per month, according to comScore data. Overall, the properties under the Complex Networks umbrella generate more than 500 million videos views a month and have a combined social following of over 75 million users (largely thanks to the existing Complex business).

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Tony Ayres - International Live Action

    Netflix Boards Tony Ayres' Tech Thriller 'Clickbait'

    Top Australian film and TV creator, Tony Ayres, “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman and Christian White have set up “Clickbait,” a new thriller series for Netflix. It probes probing the dangers of social media and the widening gulf between people’s real and virtual selves. The show is to be produced in Melbourne, Australia through NBC [...]

  • MINDHUNTER

    Netflix's Podcast Slate 'Deepens' Space Around Original Content, Programmers Say

    It should come as no surprise that, in its quest to become a full-blown entertainment ecosystem, Netflix has built a roster of podcast programming to complement its scores or original series and films. The programs recruit top talent and hosts to hang out and talk about the streaming giant’s TV and film content. It’s a [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Is Testing Human-Curated 'Collections'

    Netflix, a company powered by the strategic use of data, relies on artificial intelligence to suggest new content that its streaming customers are likely to be interested in. Now it’s looking to potentially add a human touch: The company has launched a limited-scale test of “Collections,” a new feature that presents groups of movies and [...]

  • wolves in the walls emmy

    Neil Gaiman VR Experience 'Wolves in the Walls' Wins Primetime Emmy

    “Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating [...]

  • The Void San Francisco

    The Void Teams Up With Sony Pictures for New Location-Based VR Experience

    James Murdoch-backed virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with Sony Pictures Virtual reality to produce a new location-based VR experience, according to Curtis Hickman, the startup’s chief creative officer. Hickman revealed the partnership in a conversation with Variety this week, during which he also outlined plans to bring more original IP to [...]

  • US President Donald J. Trump speaks

    Apple Stock Down 4.6% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave China

    Apple’s share price was down around 4.6% Friday at the close of the market, to $202.64 per share, after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, with the NASDAQ sliding 3%, and the Dow dropping 623 points. Trump’s edict was a response to [...]

  • Former head of CAA China Peter

    Peter Loehr to Spearhead Asia Expansion of Genies Avatar Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Peter Loehr, the former head of CAA in China, and seasoned music executive John Possman have been tapped by digital avatar company Genies to lead its expansion into Asia. The company’s proprietary avatar technology allows users to express ideas, thoughts and feelings in a different way from text, audio and video. Within the app and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content