Original Cartoons since 1998.


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Archive for the ‘Channel Frederator’

Next New Networks acquired!

March 7th, 2011


Next New Networks was built with the idea that next generation video was worth championing, the problem was they needed someone to love them.” –founding CEO Herb Scannell

Today –incredibly, coincidentally– four years to the day it was originally announced, the company I founded (my co-founders were Emil Rensing, Herb Scannell, Tim Shey, and Jed Simmons), Next New Networks, has been acquired by long time partner Google’s YouTube unit, under the umbrella YouTube Next. I’ve been the part time CEO for the past six months (the only actual job I ever had there), but I won’t working there any longer. However… I expect to extend my long and fruitful relationship with YouTube, making it safe (and safer) for animation and cartoon creators of all stripes.

Check out my announcement of the deal on the Next New blog, the official word on YouTube’s blog, and here are the stories in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Financial Times.

We started Next New Networks as the chaos of online video was exploding, figuring if we could bring a wee bit of order we’d actually create online television. Well, it seemed to work as we ended the year as probably the most successful platform for original web video, with 2010’s #2 YouTube channel and the #1 and #2 videos in the world. Most importantly, over the last four years the company’s been able to work with hundreds of the most talented new filmmakers in the world.

Channel Frederator started it all, but I’m incredibly proud of everything the company’s accomplished over the years, from launching dozens of networks, programming that’s been viewed over 2 billion times, and winning 10 Webby Awards.

A huge engine of our growth in the past year has been the Next New Creators program, where NNN partnered with over 60 independent producers, including popular YouTube partners such as The Gregory Brothers, Hot for Words, and Nalts, to help them hone their craft and grow their audiences. And we continued to grow our own successful networks such as online comedy network Barely Political (home of Obama Girl and “The Key of Awesome”), filmmaking network Indy Mogul, and style network ThreadBanger, in many cases reinvigorating them with creator-owned content.

Everyone at Next New Networks deserves a huge thank you for the incredible work that’s been done; they’ve all been a dedicated group of pioneers inventing and reinventing the way the media world is working. And this intrepid trailblazing group would have to include our investors — Spark Capital, Goldman Sachs group, Fuse Capital, Saban Capital, Balderton Capital, The Pilot Group, Herb Scannell, [the rest here]– and our board members –Dennis Miller, Joel Andryc, Brett Bullington, Jon Miller, Pete Perrone, Craig Cooper, Ross Levinsohn, Roland Van der Meer, Richard Yen and Bijan Sabet– and everyone at their companies. Without their support and vision we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish as much as we have.


For me, it’s been an incredible journey at Next New working with hundreds of people who’ve worked so hard to help define the next evolution of media. I’ve been at this for almost 40 years, constantly looking forward, and I’ve been honored to have the experience.

My great friend, our original CEO and co-founder Herb Scannell recently said it well in an email: “Next New Networks was built with the idea that next generation video was worth championing; the problem was they needed someone to love them. It figured out how to get ‘YouTube power’ with big sub bases for it’s content, made content that was hooked into ‘now pop culture’ to optimize interest and, with good blocking and tackling, cultivated community development to grow loyalty.”

At the end of 2005, Emil Rensing and I thought it might be fun to organize our video passions online. With the visionary help of tumblr founder-to-be David Karp and my colleagues Eric Homan, Mike Glenn, Melissa Wolfe, and Carrie Miller, these took shape as the pioneering podcasts Channel Frederator and VOD Cars.

Looking back they don’t look like that big a deal, but the first month’s downloads (over 1 million) convinced us there might be something to explore. The video world on the Internet was starting to explode with a chaotic frenzy of activity, and my experience with a similar boom around cable television thirty years before foretold an opportunity. If only someone (us?) could begin to form a small island of order in this topsy-turvy world, it would be a great boon to viewers looking to satisfy their enthusiasms. And, as the first MTV boss, Jack Schneider Array, told me on my first day at work in 1980, “New mediums demand new brands.” Next New Networks could provide those new brands to the Internet TV world.

Soon enough Emil and I were looking around for fellow travelers. My first MTV mentor and friend Bob Pittman told me we weren’t crazy, and offered to come in with our first outside angel investment. My former Hanna-Barbera partner, Jed Simmons, started setting up strategy sessions and introducing us to potential investors. Dennis Miller had been our colleague at Turner Broadcasting, and as a principal at Spark Capital, became our lead investor.

Meanwhile, we were spouting our hopes and dreams to anyone who would listen, especially in the creative and technology circles where we traveled. Creators and producers were flowing in and out of my small New York office trying to get a bead on our visions, and soon enough we’d started to amass a group of motivated, talented creative people who wanted in.

Tim Shey was a college friend of Emil’s and an Internet entrepreneur who’d sold his Washington, D.C., company and resettled in New York, working with the likes of Rocketboom. He became part of our founders’ group after our first group conversation in my apartment in early 2006. Herb Scannell and I had grown up together on Long Island and worked together for too many years at MTV Networks, and he joined up as our founding CEO the same day.

Later in the year, out West talking to investors ,we met up with the writer/director, Justin Johnson. Not only was Justin one of the very first video bloggers, but he’d been producing dozens of fabulous Channel Frederator promotional films for over a year. Next New had its very first creative employee. Over the next few months people kept showing up at Park Avenue South and we were able to fill out our roster with creators, network managers, producers, you name it.

I’ve got to save a special shout out to our Frederator/NY producer Carrie Miller. She signed up to work in animation, and attacked Channel Frederator and the production of The Meth Minute 39 and Nite Fite with all the attention they deserved. But, over the summer of 2006 I was out for an operation, and coming back to work I foisted this big surprise of a new company, new partners, and a whole heap of new work on her lap. She took it all in stride worked her tail off to help everyone accomplish everything they were dreaming. We couldn’t have worked our way out of a paper bag without you Carrie.

Soon enough, our team was complete.

Thank you everyone. It’s been a great beginning.

Fun with Channel Frederator.

May 3rd, 2009

Channel Frederator

David Karp always liked getting the Frederator postcards and so when he imagined Channel Frederator he incorporated one of them into our very first episode.

Channel Frederator

Over the years the cards were designed by a number of talented folks like Lee Rubenstein and Matthias Sundberg and every once in a while I threw a few in.

Channel Frederator

For no particular reason, a couple of weeks ago I was flipping through some public domain images and started playing around. Before I knew it Ch.Fred had 20 more “postcards.”

Channel Frederator

Channel Frederator

Channel Frederator

Channel Frederator Channel Frederator Channel Frederator Channel Frederator

“What’s your favorite color?”

February 28th, 2009

Frederator Filmmaker Interviews

The other day I was enjoying some of the interviews Eric and Bailee have been posting, which kicked me to reading some of Jeaux’s and Mike Milo’s and Floyd’s, and it got me wondering. I know we’ve run almost 400 films on Channel Frederator and that we’d interviewed a lot of under exposed filmmakers and artists… But, how many exactly?

One hundred and forty five. Right, 145. And they keep on coming.

There aren’t too many places that play such close attention to the people making animated films, unless they’re Walt Disney or John Lasseter (not that there’s anything wrong with that). And while we can’t begin ton compare our archive to some of the in depth work done by folks like Michael Barrier, Amid Amidi, Jerry Beck, and others, it’s a darn good start I think.

We’re going to keep it up. In addition to the weekly Channel Frederator animated filmmakers, I’ve always thought the dedicated folks who work day to day in our crews deserve a spotlight, and we’ve started that up with the Fanboy & Chum Chum crew. Adventure Time’s crew will be coming up, and we’re going to try and backtrack into our shows like The Fairly Oddparents and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!

And don’t be surprised when you start reading interviews with some of the (truly) misunderstood production crew and network executives that work on our shows. It takes a lot of people to make even one film, and I think we should try and get to know a little more about them all.

If you’re interested in getting in on the action, we’re always looking for new interviewers too, it’s a lot of work to keep this effort going. If you’re interested, just drop a note to our New York producer Carrie Miller, and she’ll try and get you going.

Elliot Cowan & Rebecca Angelou in the house.

November 30th, 2008

Elliot Cowan & Rebecca Angelou from fredseibert on Vimeo.

Elliot Cowan stopped by Wednesday with his new wife (congratulations!), artist/designer Rebecca Angelou. I got to see her work for the first time and go over a few projects with Elliot. Elliot’s “Boxhead & Roundhead” was last seen on Channel Frederator in May on Episode #134 oops, in October on Episode #149.

Jon Kane directs for Next New Networks.

October 7th, 2008

Next New Networks on Vimeo.
I’ve mentioned director Jon Kane before (he made the great Oh Yeah! Cartoons bumpers for us) and I wanted to share with you the awesome tape he just made for Channel Frederator’s parent Next New Networks.

Frederator Postcard Series 6.11

June 6th, 2008

Mailed out the week of June 2, 2008

Frederator Postcards Series 1, 1998
Frederator Postcards Series 2, 1999
Frederator Postcards Series 3, 2000
Frederator Postcards Series 4, 2003
Frederator Postcards Series 5, 2004-2005
Frederator Postcards Series 6, 2007-2008

Wow! Four years!

May 26th, 2008

Amazing illustration made by Kiichi for this month from the New Jenny-San Calendar english site. XJ5 icon created by gashi-gashi. Via the Teenage Roblog.

Four years ago, my partner Emil Rensing suggested I start a blog when I asked him what we should do online for our (Oh Yeah! Cartoons spin off) series My Life as a Teenage Robot. “You’ll learn something,” he said.

Boy was he right. All the Frederator blogs, Channel Frederator, and Next New Networks are all the direct result of the learning, and of course, that’s been in addition to all the great series, movies, and shorts, the great talents have been working on with us during those years.

A particular shout out and thanks should go out to a few folks:

Rob Renzetti created MLaaTR in the first place, inspiring us to create the first blog.

Eric Homan took my challenge to get the thing going, and keep it going.

Scott Peterson, MLaaTR’s story editor, wrote the blog for a couple of years when the rest of us were too scared to try.

Wichobot is the loyal and talented fan who took over the Roblog when the series was over, and has kept it going with our great fans over the last couple of years. It’s better now than we ran it, and proves the complete value of community in the modern, interconnected world.

And, of course, most of all, our loyal fans and readers who have read, suggested, commented, contributed, complained, and supported all of our efforts during the last four years. Without you we would literally be nothing.

Frederator Postcard Series 6.26

May 9th, 2008

Mailed the week of May 5, 2008

Frederator Postcards Series 1, 1998
Frederator Postcards Series 2, 1999
Frederator Postcards Series 3, 2000
Frederator Postcards Series 4, 2003
Frederator Postcards Series 5, 2004-2005
Frederator Postcards Series 6, 2007-2008

Catch up on Frederator Postcards series 6.

March 31st, 2008

Frederator postcard 6.2
Frederator Postcard Series 6.2
Designed by Lee Rubenstein
Mailed out the week of February 11, 2008

Frederator Postcard Series 6.4
Mailed out the week of March 24, 2008

Frederator Postcards Series 1, 1998
Frederator Postcards Series 2, 1999
Frederator Postcards Series 3, 2000
Frederator Postcards Series 4, 2003
Frederator Postcards Series 5, 2004-2005
Frederator Postcards Series 6, 2007-2008

Frederator postcard series 6.23

February 5th, 2008

Mailed during the week of February 4, 2008.

Designed by Lee RubensteinFrederator Postcards Series 1, 1998
Frederator Postcards Series 2, 1999
Frederator Postcards Series 3, 2000
Frederator Postcards Series 4, 2003
Frederator Postcards Series 5, 2004-2005
Frederator Postcards Series 6, 2007-2008