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Former CNN Chief Jeff Zucker On The Hunt For Entertainment, Media & Sports Companies

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Former CNN Chief Jeff Zucker On The Hunt For Entertainment, Media & Sports Companies

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Former CNN Chief Jeff Zucker On The Hunt For Entertainment, Media & Sports Companies
Former CNN Chief Jeff Zucker On The Hunt For Entertainment, Media & Sports Companies

Jeff Zucker, who has led CNN for nearly a decade, will manage $1 billion in capital from Jerry Cardinal-backed International Media Investments, IMI and RedBird Capital Partners to pursue attractive M&A opportunities in media and entertainment. .

The funding will go to a partnership called RedBird IMI, which will likely track assets similar to the Redbird portfolio, which has $7 billion under management and deep ties in the entertainment industry, most recently backed by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in November. A tool called Artists Equity (AE).

AE is an artist-led studio that expands access to revenue sharing, promotes the monetization of intellectual property through creative collaboration, and uses a data-driven approach to content distribution. The first project is directed by Affleck and Damon in the lead roles in the film, which tells the true story of the Air Jordan brand. Produced in association with Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports and Mandalay Pictures.

“In the past, the success of a film was based on its performance at the box office. Now, with the rise of streaming, the business of making movies has changed fundamentally. However, Ben and I know that no matter where the industry goes, the power will still be in the hands of creators,” said Matt Damon, AE's Chief Content Officer.

In fact, the company was created to put more film and television revenue into the hands of talent. Many in Hollywood resent profit-sharing deals based on the traditional revenue model, where the bulk of revenue comes from box office and DVDs.

With the rise of streaming and many content companies quickly moving movies from the box office to their streaming services, many famous actors, directors and producers say they are not getting their fair share of the revenue.

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Another Redbird company is Skydance Media, founded by David Ellison and producing hits like Top Gun. Maverick and Apple's Jack Ryan TV Show. AAPL: Prime Video as well as Mission Impossible. Dead reckoning and transformers. Rise of the Beast (both next year).

Other investments include Fenway Sports Group (owner of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and Liverpool FC) and LeBron James' SpringHill.

SpringHill, which produced "The Shop" for HBO, Warner Bros. "Space Jam. A New Legacy” and other content, RedBird, Nike and Epic Games (the creators of Fortnite) are valued at $725 million. received last year's investment.

Based in Abu Dhabi's Media Zone Authority, IMI focuses on global digital media investments, although the majority of investments to date have been in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). United Arab Emirates ) Its portfolio assets include Al Roeya (a digital and print publication in Saudi Arabia), EuroNews, The National (also a UAE news service) and Sky News Arabia.

Zucker, the former CEO of NBC Universal, resigned after Comcast CMCSA: He bought the company in 2011. He later joined CNN in 2013 and resigned in 2022 after revealing that he had not been romantically involved with one of his senior employees.

"As part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo's tenure at CNN, I was asked about my highly consensual relationship with my closest colleague of more than 20 years," Zucker said in a memo to staff. "I have accepted that relations have developed in recent years. I should have known when it started, but I didn't. I was wrong. That's why I'm leaving today."

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Zucker increased CNN US cash flow by 163% to over $900 million. IMI has a long-standing relationship with CNN, a major media office in Abu Dhabi, which helped pave the way for the completion of this deal.

Chris Cuomo helped oust Jeff Zucker at CNN. Dana Perino

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