“Hollywood is one of the best examples of an established industry (and the movies an established art form) that … relies on innovation for its survival, but resists innovation at every turn.”
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Back to my week. By the way, I don’t want to leave the wrong impression here. My average week is no busier than anyone trying to keep their productions and businesses going. But, for those who wondering…
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I wanted to get this picture from the Nicktoons Studios up. It doesn’t have much to do with the post other than I took it during my trip and it reminds me of the evolution of even the best cartoon shows.
Kent Rice is the new CEO of Starz Entertainment (formerly IDT Entertainment), so he now represents our major production partner on Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! We’d met briefly in New York but I wanted us to get to know each other better, so we met for breakfast at the Graciela, my home away from home, and coincidentally Kent’s too when he first started working in LA.
On my way over to Sherman Oaks for an early lunch meeting, I called into a conference call with Dan Meth, Jeaux Janovsky, Eric Homan, and Carrie Miller about the show packaging for our impending weekly launch of the Meth Minute 39. As usual, we don’t all agree on everything, but I think there’s a solution everyone’s happy with in the end.
Peter Lee is in the LA office of Boston’s Prism VentureWorks. We met for lunch to give me my perspective on Next New Networks and Channel Frederator.
Over the hill from the Valley into West Hollywood to meet author/singer Barney Saltzberg at the Urth Cafe. Barney and I met about 10 years ago and like each other’s work a lot. As with others, we keep struggling to find stuff to do together and haven’t licked it yet.
I didn’t leave my seat for the next meeting, this time on Next New Networks business again with Damien Somerset, the creator/producer of Zaproot, our cool new green show on Viropop. We’d only met briefly before, and in case I haven’t made it clear, I really like getting to know the people with whom I’m doing things. Damien’s a nice, smart, talented guy.
East on Melrose are the Paramount Studios and the production offices of J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot Productions. We’re starting work on a movie and this meeting was the first time we’d met in person. Later on, Bryan Burke, JJ’s longtime producer and collaborator, and I had a great first dinner on the Sunset Strip.
Art’s Deli for a turkey sandwich for JetBlue, and home to New York.
I looked for a picture of Tom Freston smiling, since it’s the state one would most often find him. But he takes his job seriously, so most often the pictures you find are him with a very earnest expression. He’s been tops in the media culture for almost 30 years, but has always kept his kindness, his people, and his mission, front and center.
The reason I mention this is that Tom resigned his positions at Viacom today after 26 years with the company. And the reason I mention that is without Tom Freston I would have no career and no Frederator. Tom and I started together at MTV Networks together in the spring of 1980 and served together at the dawn of MTV: Music Television. When I left to form my consulting/ad agency/production company in 1983 Tom was my client and great supporter. He kept in touch during my years at Hanna-Barbera and then asked me to come back to work with his teams at the end of the 90s.
Tom was a one of a kind of leader. A man who only got better in each succeeding job, he not only kept the profits humming, but, against all odds, kept a unique culture alive in what was essentially a creative company. Since we focus on cartoons here, just look at his tenure: Liquid Television, Beavis & Butthead, Ren & Stimpy, Rugrats, Spongebob Square Pants, South Park, and of course all of our stuff. That’s just in one area of entertainment. He willed Comedy Central into being, he supported Logo, MTVN’s gay & lesbian network, long after the politics shifted against it, and because of his vision MTV is the world’s most distributed television channel in more than 27 different countries.
Thanks for a great ride Tom. We’ll all miss you.