"She has a tremendous passion for what she does and brings a unique outlook to all of her projects."” /> “In her 12 years at SPT, Lauren has established and maintained strong relationships with writers, producers, agents and other executives," said Stein.
During her eight years on the studio's comedy team, she has been instrumental in shepherding projects including One Day At A Time, Atypical, Cobra Kai, Black Monday, Future Man and Indebted. Moffat has risen through the ranks at SPT since starting at the company in 2007. Moffat started her career at Paradigm.
Sony Pictures Television has brought in Freeform's head of current programming Jennifer Gerstenblatt as SVP, Comedy Development.
She has a passion for creative, and writers love working with her. “Jenn has excellent taste, a strong point of view and a great reputation. We can’t wait to get started,” said Adilman.
Gerstenblatt joins SPT after over 12 years at Disney, most recently as VP, Head of Current Programming at Freeform, where she oversaw the Current team and original series including Good Trouble, Grown-ish, Marvel's Cloak & Dagger, The Bold Type, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists and Party of Five. This marks her return to SPT, where she worked as a development assistant in comedy early on. Prior to the launch of Freeform, she was Executive Director, Development & Programming at Freeform predecessor ABC Family.
Both Gerstenblatt and Moffat will be based in SPT’s Culver City headquarters. Reporting to Glenn Adilman, EVP, Comedy Development, she will take over the role from Lauren Moffat, who has transitioned to drama as SVP, Drama Development, reporting to Lauren Stein, EVP, Drama Development. Moffat, in turn, replaces Amy Suh, who recently left to join Amazon Studios as genre drama development executive.
cable footprints, contending that a subscription glut — and billions in brand dollars looking for screen time — mean AVOD's time has come. The resulting new entity, dubbed Crackle Plus, will combine Sony library assets and Crackle originals with the ad-supported VOD networks and subscription streaming know-how at Chicken Soup for the Soul. It will have an estimated 10 million monthly active users at launch, putting it in the same ballpark as free, ad-supported services like PlutoTV, which Viacom bought earlier this year, and Tubi. Comcast is also planning a major AVOD service for 2020 across its Sky and U.S.
Each company plans to bring its respective audience and its video-on-demand and content expertise to the joint venture. SPT and CSS Entertainment will each contribute certain assets to establish Crackle Plus and position the new company as a leading AVOD streaming platform.
Rebranded as Crackle (and then Sony Crackle), the service has launched such hit original series as comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee (now on Netflix); The Oath; and StartUp.
CSSE will control the majority interest in the new venture, with Sony receiving warrants to purchase stock at various price points. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Variety had the first report on the new venture.” />
Ownership of Crackle’s original content library will be retained by SPT but will be made available for licensing to the joint venture.
Eric Berger, who led Crackle as part of a broader role at Sony Pictures Television, will depart the company upon the close of the transaction.
Sony Pictures Television is taking the Crackle assets that had been under strategic review and contributing them to a new joint venture with a smaller but fast-growing streaming player, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.
“The CSS Entertainment team have the enthusiasm and strong business acumen to ensure Crackle Plus is poised to maximize the growing opportunities in the AVOD marketplace.” “Crackle is a valuable asset and we feel confident it will thrive and grow in this new environment with CSS Entertainment,” noted Mike Hopkins, chairman of SPT. “We were drawn to CSS Entertainment as our partner in this venture because of its aggressive, entrepreneurial approach,” said Hopkins.
Sony's shares on the New York Stock exchange dipped 1% to finish at $42.40. Shareholders clearly smelled a deal, sending Chicken Soup for the Soul shares up 18% on the Nasdaq. They closed at $9.50, giving Chicken Soup a market capitalization a bit north of $110 million.
Consistent with our business plan, we plan to build Crackle Plus aggressively and profitably through organic growth and, potentially, acquisitions.” “Creating a new platform that brings together CSS Entertainment’s VOD assets with SPT’s Crackle brand and AVOD assets, establishes a compelling offering for viewers and advertisers. Rouhana Jr., chairman and CEO of CSS Entertainment. “This transaction positions CSS Entertainment as a leader in the high-growth AVOD business,” said William J.
Part of the new venture will be six owned and operated AVOD networks (Popcornflix, Truli, Popcornflix Kids, Popcornflix Comedy, Frightpix, and Espanolflix) and the SVOD platform Pivotshare, which is white-labeled for hundreds of partners. Ever since Sony announced its plan to re-evaluate Crackle's business last year, speculation had centered on either a sale or some form of partnership. In Chicken Soup, the company has found a partner with an array of streaming assets.
assets including the Crackle brand, its monthly active users and its ad rep business. SPT’s contributions to the joint venture include Crackle’s U.S. New Media Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Electronics Inc., will provide the technology back-end services for the newly formed joint venture. SPT and the joint venture will also enter into a license agreement for rights to TV series and movies from the Sony Pictures Entertainment library.
At the time, Grouper was the second largest independent video sharing community behind YouTube. Sony placed an early bet on online video streaming, acquiring the startup Grouper in 2006 — just as YouTube was finding a mass audience. The studio saw the video service was the perfect complement to its various devices.
Employees affected by this change have been notified today. I want to sincerely thank those employees who have been impacted for their contributions and talents. With this change in approach, unfortunately, some roles have been eliminated, and a few of our colleagues in Culver City will be leaving SPT.
Decisions will be brand-led with a view to driving a holistic approach that will leverage the Sony brand across all of our channels. Toward that end, we have established a Creative Center and are moving from a department of single-discipline specialists to an internal agency model with multi-disciplinary team members working across several areas, including global branding and marketing creative for SPT’s global teams. I want to share some changes on our Creative Services team that are part of broader efforts across SPT to create a stronger and more agile organization in an evolving global marketplace. As announced in June, we are centralizing services to help drive integrated programming, operations and creative services.
During the next few weeks, we will be migrating to new process pipelines and a streamlined infrastructure as part of the change. The newly formed Creative Center is led by Maurizio Vitale, with Kasumi Mihori overseeing day-to-day operations in Culver City. In some cases, there are shifts in responsibilities. Below is an overview of leads for each area, so that you know who to reach out to.
"We are moving from a department of single-discipline specialists to an internal agency model with multi-disciplinary team members working across several areas, including global branding and marketing creative for SPT’s global teams," Schultz wrote in an internal memo (you can read it in full below). Decisions will be brand-led with a view to driving a holistic approach that will leverage the Sony brand across all of our channels."
Another area of Sony Pictures TV, Creative Services, has completed the consolidation process under the major reorganization of the company's distribution operations announced by SPT chairman Mike Hopkins in June, leading to the elimination of a handful of positions.
As a fallout from the ongoing SPT consolidation, there was a round of layoffs in August when a number of staffers at the combined global networks/worldwide distribution/home entertainment unit were let go, including SVP-level execs.
Schultz also revealed that "a few" Culver City staffers are being notified today that their roles are being eliminated. "I want to sincerely thank those employees who have been impacted for their contributions and talents," he said.
Here is the memo:
Please reach out with any questions. We will be holding an all hands meeting with the creative services team on Friday at 10 am PT to discuss these changes and answer questions. We will also be embarking on a “roadshow” to touch base with many of you to share our new expanded capabilities, best practices and overall approach with the internal agency model. Your patience is much appreciated during this transition, and we are here to help. Our plan is to ensure a continuous, positive experience for everyone.
As part of the June realignment, SPT brought several global networks functions under one centralized services unit based in Culver City under TC Schultz, EVP, Networks Operations, Programming & Strategy. Today, Schultz announced the transition to a newly established Creative Center, led by Maurizio Vitale, with Kasumi Mihori overseeing day-to-day operations in Culver City.
Since joining SPT in 2015, Seder has worked with Emmy-winning programs Shark Tank and The Dr. She has also led the studio’s efforts in developing unscripted content for new platforms, resulting in SPT’s first sales of unscripted series to Netflix and YouTube.” /> Oz Show, as well as modern interpretations of classic game shows The $100,000 Pyramid and The Gong Show.
In her new role, Seder will oversee U.S. Elyse Seder is expanding her role at Sony Pictures Television with a promotion to Senior Vice President, Reality and Syndication Programming. She continues to report to EVP, Reality and Syndication Programming and Development Holly Jacobs. development of SPT’s unscripted projects on all platforms.
She’s a superb development executive who can take a germ of an idea and methodically bring it to life,” said Jacobs. “I’m thrilled Elyse will play a growing role as SPT builds a robust business in delivering unscripted programming to these diverse platforms.” “Elyse has been instrumental in getting us into the business of developing unscripted shows for streaming services.