VUGURU TAPS LARRY TANZ AS PRESIDENT
Co-Founder of Agility Studios and Former CEO of LivePlanet to Build Out Recently-Funded Joint Venture Between Michael Eisner's Tornante and Rogers Media
LOS ANGELES, CA - (Dec. 14, 2009) Larry Tanz, an entertainment industry and digital media entrepreneur, has been named president of Vuguru, the leading new media studio that produces world class content for the Internet and emerging digital platforms, it was announced today by the company's founder and Chairman Michael Eisner.
Mr. Tanz brings to Vuguru more than a decade of experience producing award-winning content and securing distribution, sponsorships and funding across traditional and new media platforms. He comes to Vuguru after co-founding and serving as President of Agility Studios, LLC, which develops, finances, and produces entertainment-oriented digital franchises, such as the recently announced Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, Ultradome and the first-ever Streamy Award winner, The Shatner Project. Prior to Agility, Tanz served as President and Chief Executive Officer of LivePlanet, Inc., with co-founders that included Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, where he produced numerous film, television, and new media projects including the three time Emmy-nominated Project Greenlight.
"We're thrilled to have Larry as Vuguru's first President," said Mr. Eisner. "His entrepreneurial experience and track record for marrying high-quality creative content with strong fiscal management will enable him to achieve our long-term vision for Vuguru. Additionally, his ability to work with established talent and foster relationships with up-and-coming creators will, no doubt, be an asset to the business."
"High-quality, story-driven content has always found an audience, and with the recent explosion of video consumption on digital platforms the audience is finally here -- and it's massive" said Larry Tanz. "The management of Tornante and Rogers Media understand better than anyone how to deliver a quality entertainment experience to a global audience and I'm honored that they have asked me to be a part of something so crucial to the future of this industry. Moreover, with industry leader Rogers Media supporting the company through its significant capital investment and mighty cross-platform distribution support in Canada, Vuguru has the resources to expand production rapidly and distribute products on a large international scale out of the gate."
The appointment of Mr. Tanz comes on the heels of an investment and strategic partnership that Vuguru struck with Canada's Rogers Media in October. Vuguru, which previously operated inside of Michael Eisner's Tornante Company, became a stand-alone entity as part of the Rogers deal, with Mr. Eisner serving as Chairman. Vuguru also entered into a long-term distribution agreement with Rogers for the exclusive Canadian rights to future projects and plans to ramp up production significantly.
Launched by The Tornante Company in late 2006, Vuguru produces and distributes innovative story-driven content for new media platforms and has been a leader in original online content since it released the 2007 smash success, Prom Queen. Following the success of Prom Queen, Vuguru created The All-For-Nots, a scripted mockumentary that followed the misadventures of an indie rock band as they traveled across the U.S. on an ill-conceived and underfunded tour. In another first, Vuguru distributed the 300 minutes of content simultaneously via the Internet, mobile phones and cable-TV. Vuguru next bridged the worlds of publishing and new media by producing Foreign Body, a prequel web-series released in advance of best-selling author Robin Cook's latest novel. Back on Topps, Vuguru's Sports-Emmy nominated comedy about two brothers making their way in the sports world, was recently licensed by Comedy Central and is currently being adapted into a television show.
In the months ahead Vuguru will launch Prom Queen: The Homecoming, the next installment in the hit franchise; The Booth at the End, a new psychological thriller created by Internet-savvy writer Christopher Kubasik and helmed by veteran television director Jessica Landaw; and Pretty Tough, an adaptation of a successful young adult novel from accomplished television writer and producer Liz Tigelaar. The 2010 slate is expected to include 10-15 new series.
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