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Fred Seibert's Blog

Archive for the ‘Industry news’


SpongeBob’s Godfather.

August 7th, 2007

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Albie Hecht is one of my best friends –ah, one of Frederator’s best friends– his company World Wide Biggies –”a New York-based developer of digital entertainment for kids, families and young adults”– has just announced the opening of a digital production studio, an investment raise of $9million, and distribution deals. His partners include co-leaders NBC Universal and Platform Equity, and Hearst Corp., Greycroft Ventures and Prism VentureWorks. Wow.

Nobody’s going to beat Albie and his great team (including our other close friend, and I might add, my first creative hire in television, Scott Webb), nobody. They were early media converts to the transformative power of the interactive digital world’s effect on the traditional television business.

Albie’s one of the cultural stars of the last dozen years. As Herb Scannell’s President of Nickelodeon Entertainment produced an unending string of hits like the humngo series and movie SpongeBob SquarePants, the $100 million movies of A Series of Unfortunate Events and Rugrats, and lately Nick’s runaway success The Naked Brothers Band. And Scott was Nickelodeon’s innovative Worldwide Creative Director for several years; you’ll remember, among other things, his sheparding of the truly original series Pete & Pete, and his mid-90s foresight to be an early internet pioneer with the creation of Nickelodeon Online.

Did I mention that nobody’s going to beat Albie? Congratulations to the Biggies.

Tom Freston.

September 5th, 2006

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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.

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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.
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Thanks for a great ride Tom. We’ll all miss you.