Billionaire Ron Burkle and former Hollywood Reporter CEO Richard Beckman have joined forces to create a new branded entertainment company, Three Lions Entertainment, they announced on Monday.
Joel Katz, global chairman of Greenberg Traurig's international media and entertainment practice, will be a minority partner and have a seat on the board. Three Lions Entertainment's first TV specials will revive "Fashion Rocks" and "Movies Rock" that were previously made with Conde Nast.
Beckman left Prometheus, then-parent of the Reporter, last year. He had been CEO, and previously had been a senior executive at Conde Nast. The new company will be based in New York City and its offices will open in April.
"I am thrilled to be working with Ron and Joel on such an extraordinary venture," Beckman said in a prepared statement. "Branded entertainment is one of the fastest-growing segments in media, and at Three Lions Entertainment, we will create one of the most powerful rosters of cross-platform events that will exist anywhere in the world."
The venture is Burkle's latest in a series of investments in the entertainment space through his Yucaipa Companies. He is a co-financier of movies with The Weinstein Company, took a major equity position with Relativity and bought Soho House, a watering hole frequented by media and entertainment figures.
The move follows Beckman's ignominous exit from Prometheus, which relaunched The Hollywood Reporter as a luxury-oriented lifestyle magazine, but where advertising failed to materialize in significant numbers. Prometheus was renamed Guggenheim Digital Media earlier this year and was taken over by a digitally-oriented CEO, Ross Levinsohn.
Here's the announcement:
RICHARD BECKMAN AND RON BURKLE FORM BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY THREE LIONS ENTERTAINMENT
New York, NY, March 25, 2013 — Richard Beckman, a leading innovator in media and entertainment, and Ron Burkle, chairman of the Yucaipa Companies, have partnered to form Three Lions Entertainment LLC (TLE), it was announced today by Mr. Beckman, the company's chief executive officer. Rounding out the pair, Joel Katz, global chair of Greenberg Traurig's international media and entertainment practice, will be a minority partner and have a seat on TLE's board.
Three Lions Entertainment is based on a distinctive global business model that transcends the classic distributor-funded norm. Not only will TLE create original world-class branded entertainment events and content platforms, it will also develop and execute sophisticated cross-platform marketing opportunities with highly compelling integrations and activations, at scale. TLE will be based in New York City and its offices will open in April.
As CEO, Mr. Beckman will leverage his 30 years in the media and entertainment industries to pair the talents of the world's most respected producers, including Don Mischer Productions and Done and Dusted, with some of the most revered integrated marketing professionals in the business, on behalf of TLE's clients.
First up, Mr. Beckman will reintroduce fans to Fashion Rocks and Movies Rock in 2014, two programs he originally created in the United States, and executive- produced while serving as the president of the Condé Nast Media Group.
"I am thrilled to be working with Ron and Joel on such an extraordinary venture," said, Mr. Beckman. "Branded entertainment is one of the fastest-growing segments in media, and at Three Lions Entertainment, we will create one of the most powerful rosters of cross-platform events that will exist anywhere in the world. But what really makes us unique, is TLE's ability to also provide clients with scalable, multichannel marketing solutions around those properties, giving clients a unique value proposition not currently offered by other producers in this space."