×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

David Glasser to Launch $300 Million Shingle With Ron Burkle’s Backing (EXCLUSIVE)

David Glasser, the former chief operating officer of the Weinstein Co., is launching a $300 million film and TV company with the backing of billionaire investor Ron Burkle, Variety has learned.

The formation of the production outfit, named 101 Studios, marks a fresh start for Glasser, who was in line to become CEO of the Weinstein Co. had Burkle succeeded in buying the beleaguered company a year ago. Instead, the New York attorney general filed a lawsuit that scuttled the deal, Glasser was fired, and the company went bankrupt.

The company, which will officially be announced this week, has opened offices in Century City with a staff of about 20 people. The headcount is expected to grow to 35 to 40 over the next two weeks. The company will focus primarily on film acquisitions and distribution, and TV production.

Glasser and his team will head to the Sundance Film Festival this week, where he is expected to be in the hunt for titles. His new company is said to be eyeing domestic distribution rights to “The Current War,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, a Weinstein Co. project that has been tied up in the bankruptcy process.

The film, which debuted at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, was initially set for release in November 2017. The Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal, which crippled the company, put those plans on hold.

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon has been doing some reshooting and re-editing of the film, according to filings in the bankruptcy case. Martin Scorsese is said to be involved as an executive producer, though his representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Lantern Entertainment, which bought the Weinstein Co. assets in bankruptcy last summer, still holds international rights to the film. The domestic rights are in the hands of East West Bank, which is also providing financing to 101 Studios.

Glasser’s company is also bidding on an upcoming project from director Lee Daniels entitled “United States v. Billie Holiday.” Daniels’ last film, “The Butler,” was distributed by the Weinstein Co.

For Burkle, the deal marks the investor’s latest foray in the entertainment business. Burkle previously provided financing to Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media and invested in several Weinstein Co. films.

A year ago, Burkle put together a group to buy the Weinstein Co. for $500 million, including $225 million in assumed debt. The deal was set to close on Feb. 11, 2018, when New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a civil rights suit against the Weinstein Co. Schneiderman — who would later resign in his own abuse scandal — alleged that Glasser had failed to adequately investigate sexual harassment claims at the company, and questioned why he was about to become CEO.

The suit upended the sale, and Glasser was ousted  as chief operating officer several days later. Glasser adamantly denied wrongdoing and threatened to sue the company, but ultimately did not. Several attempts to revive the sale, with some compensation set aside for Weinstein’s alleged victims, ultimately went nowhere. The company sold to Lantern in bankruptcy for $289 million.

At the time, many questioned whether Burkle was overpaying, especially given the massive potential liabilities due to Weinstein’s alleged conduct. Instead, many said it would be easier to simply start a new company. He is now doing that.

More Biz

  • Deborah Dugan

    Reports of Ousted Grammy Chief Demanding $22 Million Are 'Outrageous,' Sources Say

    UPDATED: As the war of words between the Recording Academy and ousted president/CEO Deborah Dugan continues to escalate, interim boss Harvey Mason Jr. today issued a statement to the Academy’s membership about Dugan’s alleged misconduct and warned about “leaks and misinformation.” The letter claims that Dugan’s attorney Bryan Freedman sought “millions of dollars” for his [...]

  • Frontrunners Emerge As BBC's Tony Hall

    Frontrunners Emerge as BBC Boss Tony Hall Set to Leave Broadcasting Behind

    As the U.K. industry reacts to news of Tony Hall’s intention to depart the BBC this July, top-level executives including Charlotte Moore and Tim Davie as well as external contenders such as Channel 4’s Alex Mahon are beginning to emerge. Variety understands that Lord Hall, who has headed the BBC for seven years as director [...]

  • Recording Academy President/CEO Deborah Dugan participates

    Executive Assistant Preparing Lawsuit Against Ousted Grammy Chief

    In the latest twist in the increasingly bitter exit of Deborah Dugan from the Recording Academy after just five months, the ousted president/CEO is about to face a lawsuit from her former assistant, Claudine Little, who has retained former Harvey Weinstein/ Charlie Walk attorney Patty Glaser to represent her, two sources tell Variety. The news was [...]

  • Two Rivers Media Buys Out Parent

    Two Rivers Media Buys Out Parent Kew Media Group's Stake In Business

    Two Rivers Media has bought out parent group Kew Media Group’s minority stake in the business. Formed by former STV Productions head Alan Clements in January 2019, the production outfit behind Channel 5’s recent “Susan Hill’s Ghost Story” launched with the backing of Kew, Noble Grossart Investments and Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund. Noble Grossart [...]

  • Grammy Awards 60th Annual Grammy Awards,

    Recording Academy Paid Millions Annually to Outside Law Firms

    Among the concerns listed in a memo sent to the Recording Academy’s head of HR by president/CEO Deborah Dugan before she was placed on administrative leave Thursday was an item about the organization’s “exorbitant and unnecessary” legal fees to outside law firms, according to sources familiar with the document. According to the most recent 990 [...]

  • Chuck D of Public EnemyGods of

    Public Enemy’s Chuck D Slams Grammys Over Deborah Dugan Ouster

    Chuck D, frontman of Public Enemy — who are receiving the Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammys next week — posted a long statement on Instagram criticizing the Recording Academy over its sudden ousting of new president/CEO Deborah Dugan yesterday. Dugan, who had been in the job only five months, was placed on administrative leave after [...]

  • Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons

    Spotify in Talks to Acquire Bill Simmons' The Ringer: Report

    Spotify is in early talks to acquire The Ringer, the digital content and podcast network launched by ESPN alum Bill Simmons in 2016, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. A representative for Spotify declined to comment on the report. Reps for Ringer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spotify’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content