Adventure Network Roam Lands $2.1 Million Funding From Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo and Others

Roam, a new digital media company that focuses on outdoor adventure, has just raised $2.1 million dollars from some serious investors, including Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo. The round also included participation from Advancit Capital, SUSA, TackV…

Roam, a new digital media company that focuses on outdoor adventure, has just raised $2.1 million dollars from some serious investors, including Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo. The round also included participation from Advancit Capital, SUSA, TackVC and Imagination Capital.

Self-described as a “next generation adventure network,” Roam recruits adventures from around the world to create content for original mini-docs and episodic series that live across multiple social platforms.

In under two years, the company has racked up a following of more than 1.6 million who have consumed more than 120,000 hours of videos on Facebook and Instagram. The company’s work has attracted sponsorship support from blue chip brands including Coors Light, DJI, Land Rover, National Geographic and Discovery Channel.

In addition to its video content, Roam has been growing its ecommerce offering and recently sold out a special edition James Brand pocket knife and a Pela bio-compostable phone almost immediately, according to the company.

The new funding will be divided between original content and expanding ROAM’s in-house team, the company said.

“Roam’s capital-efficient content leverages star-based curated and user-generated content from fans who want to be part of Roam’s huge reach and increasing number of original shows created and edited by members of the Roam editorial team,” Christopher Jerard, founder and CEO of Roam, said in a statement. “Explorers both contribute stories from the field and amplify Roam every day with social shares. Our team’s deep understanding of youth-leaning content and cutting-edge data science has enabled Roam to grow rapidly across multiple social media platforms.”

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Variety Innovate Summit Tackles Hollywood’s New World Order

The intersection of entertainment and technology will be the focus of Variety’s Innovate Summit: AI and Data Science in Media on Dec. 5 at the Jeremy in West Hollywood. The event is presented by PwC. The summit will feature 50-plus speakers exploring h…

The intersection of entertainment and technology will be the focus of Variety’s Innovate Summit: AI and Data Science in Media on Dec. 5 at the Jeremy in West Hollywood. The event is presented by PwC. The summit will feature 50-plus speakers exploring how AI and advancing analytics are impacting marketing, storytelling, content curation and audience engagement […]

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman to Keynote Variety’s Innovate Summit

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman will keynote Variety’s Innovate: AI and Data Science in Media summit, presented by PwC, on Dec. 5 in Los Angeles. The duo will discuss launching mobile entertainment platform Quibi. Previously CEO and co-founder of Dr…

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman will keynote Variety’s Innovate: AI and Data Science in Media summit, presented by PwC, on Dec. 5 in Los Angeles. The duo will discuss launching mobile entertainment platform Quibi. Previously CEO and co-founder of DreamWorks Animation, Katzenberg now invests in new consumer technologies as co-founder and managing partner of WndrCo. He […]

Lady Gaga At SAG-AFTRA Foundation Honors: “Let’s Make Kindness Overwhelming”

Lady Gaga didn’t sing tonight, but her voice soared at the third annual SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards. Outside the gala event at the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills, flags flew at half-mast to honor the victims of the lat…

Lady Gaga didn't sing tonight, but her voice soared at the third annual SAG-AFTRA Foundation's Patron of the Artists Awards. Outside the gala event at the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills, flags flew at half-mast to honor the victims of the latest mass shooting a night ago in Thousand Oaks. "We are facing a crisis of epic proportions," she told the black-tie audience Thursday. "We are in the middle of a global mental health crisis." Gaga's Born This Way Foundation…

Jeffrey Katzenberg Reveals He’s No Nancy Pelosi When It Comes To Midterms

EXCLUSIVE: The once and perhaps once again Speaker of the House of Representatives may be “100%” sure the Democrats are taking back the lower chamber of Congress in today’s midterm elections but Jeffrey Katzenberg is playing his cards…

EXCLUSIVE: The once and perhaps once again Speaker of the House of Representatives may be “100%” sure the Democrats are taking back the lower chamber of Congress in today’s midterm elections but Jeffrey Katzenberg is playing his cards a bit closer to the chest than Nancy Pelosi, at least for now. "I'm cautiously optimistic about our chances to win the House," the Quibi boss and one of Hollywood's top donors for the Democrats told Deadline. As the number #1 bundler for Bara…

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi Puts Down Roots In Hollywood Media District

Quibi, the mobile video start-up backed by Jeffrey Katzenberg and run by Meg Whitman, says it will have its headquarters on Seward Street in the heart of the Hollywood Media District.
The company is already in temporary space in the building, dubbed Ho…

Quibi, the mobile video start-up backed by Jeffrey Katzenberg and run by Meg Whitman, says it will have its headquarters on Seward Street in the heart of the Hollywood Media District. The company is already in temporary space in the building, dubbed Hollywood 959, and will make it permanent when the build-out is complete in early 2019, according to developer JH Snyder Co. The space will cover two floors and 49,000 square feet in the five-story West Wing building. Other…

Guillermo del Toro to Produce Content for Jeffery Katzenberg’s Mobile Video Platform Quibi

Directors Sam Raimi (“Spider-Man”), Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”) and Antoine Fuqua (“The Magnificent Seven”) and producer Jason Blum (“Get Out”) will all produce content for the new mobile video service Quibi, founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman announced Wednesday.

Speaking at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Katzenberg and Whiteman unveiled a slate of new slate of original short-form content as well as further details about the service.

Quibi, which is short for “quick bites,” will have a two-tier pricing model: an $8 per month option that doesn’t include advertising and a $5 per month priced tier that has limited ads.

Also Read: Jeffery Katzenberg’s NewTV Taps Former Hollywood Reporter Exec Janice Min

Formerly known as New TV, the service will be stocked with short-form content intended for mobile viewing. Katzenberg is expected to launch the platform either late 2019 or early 2020.

The news comes shortly after Janice Min, the former co-president and chief creative officer of the Hollywood Reporter, announced she would join the mobile video startup, which closed a $1 billion funding round in August.

Investors include 21st Century Fox, Disney, Entertainment One, ITV, Lionsgate, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom and Warner Media.

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Directors Sam Raimi (“Spider-Man”), Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”) and Antoine Fuqua (“The Magnificent Seven”) and producer Jason Blum (“Get Out”) will all produce content for the new mobile video service Quibi, founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman announced Wednesday.

Speaking at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Katzenberg and Whiteman unveiled a slate of new slate of original short-form content as well as further details about the service.

Quibi, which is short for “quick bites,” will have a two-tier pricing model: an $8 per month option that doesn’t include advertising and a $5 per month priced tier that has limited ads.

Formerly known as New TV, the service will be stocked with short-form content intended for mobile viewing. Katzenberg is expected to launch the platform either late 2019 or early 2020.

The news comes shortly after Janice Min, the former co-president and chief creative officer of the Hollywood Reporter, announced she would join the mobile video startup, which closed a $1 billion funding round in August.

Investors include 21st Century Fox, Disney, Entertainment One, ITV, Lionsgate, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom and Warner Media.

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Jeffrey Katzenberg And Meg Whitman Unveil Name Of NewTV Venture: Quibi (Short For Quick Bites)

Media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and veteran tech executive Meg Whitman used the prominent platform of Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit to announce the name of their new mobile video startup and drop the names of four high-profile Hollywood p…

Media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and veteran tech executive Meg Whitman used the prominent platform of Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit to announce the name of their new mobile video startup and drop the names of four high-profile Hollywood players who will create content for the subscription service. Filmmakers Sam Rami, Guillermo del Toro and Antoine Fuqua and noted producer Jason Blum will all create shows for the new mobile subscription service, which launches…

How Hollywood’s Sexual Misconduct Policies Have Changed in the Year Since #MeToo

One year after the launch of the #MeToo movement with the New York Times’ and the New Yorker’s award-winning exposés of indie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood insiders say that there have been some significant changes to address sexual mis…

One year after the launch of the #MeToo movement with the New York Times’ and the New Yorker’s award-winning exposés of indie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood insiders say that there have been some significant changes to address sexual misconduct in the industry.

Many studios, networks and other entertainment companies have tightened contract language and increased employee training programs to prevent harassment in executive offices, on film and TV sets and even in audition rooms, executives and entertainment lawyers said.

Despite the career downfall of high-profile men such as Weinstein, CBS CEO Les Moonves and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, though, questions linger about how effective these steps have been to change Hollywood’s culture.

“The law has remained the same. What’s different is the volume of reporting is just exponentially more,” Elsa Rama, an entertainment lawyer, told TheWrap.

“More people are reporting bad behavior and employers are more sensitive to handling it and adhering to the law, whereas before our industry was probably a bit too casual about it,” she added.

And many companies are trying to get ahead of the accusation wave by educating employees about acceptable behavior with mandatory training sessions across departments. Angela Reddock-Wright, a Los Angeles attorney who specializes in sexual harassment and discrimination, estimated that the number of prevention trainings that she gives has increased 50 percent in the last year.

“In light of what’s happening, companies and studios want to make sure they are re-educating their managers and supervisors on what to do when issues of sexual harassment are reported to them,” she said.

Contracts have also come under focus in the last year. Although sexual harassment was always considered a breach of contracts, experts told TheWrap that legal language that was purposefully broad before #MeToo is now being tightened to provide clearer consequences for cases of sexual harassment and assault.

“[Many contracts] are much more specific in terms of providing a sexual harassment policy that’s curtailed to production setting, having a reporting mechanism that’s very clear, but also having the ability for grounds for termination, as well as what to do with allegations outside the workplace environment,” Rama said.

Another entertainment attorney, who asked not to be named, told TheWrap that the main differences have come at the negotiating table. Whereas agents once had more leeway to negotiate morality clauses out of contracts for talent, studios are now more likely to insist that they remain.

Moreover, the attorney said that morality clauses were previously intended to address criminal convictions and actors going to jail, but now they are getting broadened to include various forms of sexual misconduct that may not require legal outcomes.

Reddock-Wright said the effectiveness of any policy change is ultimately dependent on people’s willingness to follow it — or not. “So the real question is — if we have had laws and policies against sexual harassment in the workplace for years, why does harassment continue to happen? Why is the #MeToo movement so prevalent?” she said.

“It ultimately comes down to power — those who use their power and influence to exercise control over individuals, and to make individuals believe that if they do not succumb to their sexual propositions, they will not make it in this town,” she said. “Some use their powers for good. Others use them to take advantage of others.”

The advent of the #MeToo movement has raised general awareness of the issue — which has taken down both executives like Weinstein as well as on-camera stars like Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K.

Stars and prominent Hollywood figures like Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon and Shonda Rhimes helped launch the Time’s Up initiative, a fund that aims to support employees who encounter sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace.

The major Hollywood guilds have also released new guidelines since last fall intended to protect their members from harassment and other abuse — though many are not legally or contractually binding. In April, SAG-AFTRA released a guideline calling on producers to refrain from holding professional meetings in hotel rooms and private residences, and urged actors to avoid high-risk locations as well.

The move came after Weinstein was accused by several women of misconduct inside hotel rooms in cities around the world, from Beverly Hills to New York to Cannes, France. (He has denied any accusation of nonconsensual sex.) These guidelines were contractually adopted by the Network Television Code in July, which SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris described as a “real victory.”

The union is also working to develop rules that will better protect actors during on-screen nudity and sex scenes.

“There’s so much more exposure to your body and there’s more [on-screen] intimacy taking place,” Carteris told TheWrap. “Our conversations actually deal with the whole process of being a performer… and the vulnerabilities you have, and then we’re creating structures around those vulnerabilities.”

Even Carteris admits she does not know whether #MeToo advocates can make lasting change to how Hollywood does business.

“I know there’s been a shift. It’s happening in the audition room, it’s happening on set,” she told TheWrap. “We’re going to have to wait and see if it’s a sustainable shift. Kudos to those people who really recognize that there needs to be a change.”

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Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo Invests $30 Million In Restaurant Recommendation Service The Infatuation

Restaurant recommendation service The Infatuation received a $30 million investment from WndrCo, the media holding company co-founded by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg.
The Infatuation was a passion project for two former music industry executives,…

Restaurant recommendation service The Infatuation received a $30 million investment from WndrCo, the media holding company co-founded by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg. The Infatuation was a passion project for two former music industry executives, Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal, who were looking for a way to recommend restaurants and bars to friends. Since its founding in 2009, it has expanded to more than two dozen cities. The service has created a novel way of…

Jeffrey Katzenberg, Meg Whitman Unveil Subscription Prices for WndrCo Short-Form Video Service

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s much-scrutinized streaming-video project is months away from launch, but the executives revealed how much the new content would cost subscribers. WndrCo, their nascent company, will seek to charge subscribers …

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s much-scrutinized streaming-video project is months away from launch, but the executives revealed how much the new content would cost subscribers. WndrCo, their nascent company, will seek to charge subscribers $5 per month for content with ads and $8 per month for an ad-free experience, Whitman said during a presentation at […]

Janice Min Joins Jeffrey Katzenberg’s NewTV Mobile Video Startup

Janice Min, the former co-president of The Hollywood Reporter, is joining Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile video startup NewTV.
Min, the former US Weekly editor who left the top editorial perch at The Hollywood Reporter in 2017, shared the news on Twi…

Janice Min, the former co-president of The Hollywood Reporter, is joining Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile video startup NewTV. Min, the former US Weekly editor who left the top editorial perch at The Hollywood Reporter in 2017, shared the news on Twitter. "So YES, you can assume there will be news programming (Hollywood, political and more)," Min tweeted, without getting any more specific. She said she will start her new role on Monday. A spokesperson for Whitman declined to…

Jeffrey Katzelberg, Spike Lee Selected for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Honors

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation will present its Patron of the Artists Awards to entertainment industry leader Jeffrey Katzenberg and director-producer-writer Spike Lee. The foundation made the announcement Tuesday. It said the awards honor industry leaders w…

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation will present its Patron of the Artists Awards to entertainment industry leader Jeffrey Katzenberg and director-producer-writer Spike Lee. The foundation made the announcement Tuesday. It said the awards honor industry leaders who are champions of the arts and whose history of fostering creativity and creating opportunities for actors has made a positive […]

Spike Lee, Jeffrey Katzenberg to Be Honored by SAG-AFTRA Foundation

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation announced on Tuesday that “BlacKkKlansman” director Spike Lee and DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg will be honored at the organization’s 3rd annual Patron of the Artists Awards, which will be held Nov….

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation announced on Tuesday that “BlacKkKlansman” director Spike Lee and DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg will be honored at the organization’s 3rd annual Patron of the Artists Awards, which will be held Nov. 8 in Beverly Hills.

Previous recipients of the award include Kathryn Bigelow, Rob Marshall, Judd Apatow, Lee Daniels, Megan Ellison, and Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos.

“Jeffrey Katzenberg and Spike Lee are two leaders within our industry who have created opportunities, opened doors, nurtured careers and provided jobs to countless artists,” said SAG-AFTRA Foundation president JoBeth Williams. They understand the value of artists – and the arts – to transport us to worlds that we have never seen before and tell stories that have never been told before.”

The foundation will also present Harrison Ford and Lady Gaga with the Artists Inspiration Awards at the benefit gala in honor of their philanthropic work. Proceeds from the gala, which will take place at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, will support the organization’s assistance and performers programs for SAG-AFTRA artists, as well as its children’s literacy program Storyline Online.

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Jeffrey Katzenberg to Host Joe Biden Fundraiser Next Month

Joe Biden is coming to Hollywood for a swanky Beverly Hills fundraiser hosted by Jefferey Katzenberg, TheWrap has learned.

The Biden fundraiser will take place on Oct. 3.

Tickets for the event cost $5,000, the maximum allowed under the law. The event is being organized by Gonring, Spahn and Associates and Katzenberg. Money raised will go to Biden’s PAC American Possibilities, which supports Democratic candidates.

Also Read: Joe Biden Comforts Tearful Meghan McCain Over Father’s Cancer (Video)

No invites have been sent, according to organizers. Guests are being invited via phone calls and emails.

The Hollywood donor crowd has been actively fundraising for Democratic candidates across the country in recent weeks in an effort to help the party take back the House and Senate on Nov. 6, which is the date of this year’s midterm election.

Biden, who has yet to announce a 2020 presidential bid, has been a top contender for Democrats. The former vice president toyed with the idea of running for president in 2016 but eventually decided to sit it out.

Biden publicly said that he’ll make his decision decide about 2020 by January.

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Joe Biden is coming to Hollywood for a swanky Beverly Hills fundraiser hosted by Jefferey Katzenberg, TheWrap has learned.

The Biden fundraiser will take place on Oct. 3.

Tickets for the event cost $5,000, the maximum allowed under the law. The event is being organized by Gonring, Spahn and Associates and Katzenberg. Money raised will go to Biden’s PAC American Possibilities, which supports Democratic candidates.

No invites have been sent, according to organizers. Guests are being invited via phone calls and emails.

The Hollywood donor crowd has been actively fundraising for Democratic candidates across the country in recent weeks in an effort to help the party take back the House and Senate on Nov. 6, which is the date of this year’s midterm election.

Biden, who has yet to announce a 2020 presidential bid, has been a top contender for Democrats. The former vice president toyed with the idea of running for president in 2016 but eventually decided to sit it out.

Biden publicly said that he’ll make his decision decide about 2020 by January.

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Joe Biden Back In The Hollywood Money With Jeffrey Katzenberg Hosted Soiree

Joe Biden isn’t officially running for President again yet, but if and when the former Vice-President does throw his hat in the 2020 ring, you can bet he’ll be hitting Jeffrey Katzenberg up for some cash – just like he is next month.
As the midte…

Joe Biden isn't officially running for President again yet, but if and when the former Vice-President does throw his hat in the 2020 ring, you can bet he'll be hitting Jeffrey Katzenberg up for some cash – just like he is next month. As the midterms campaign heats up and Barack Obama and more heavyweights for the Democrats hit the trail, the ex-VP is coming back on October 3 to the Hollywood fundraising circuit he knows so well. The deep pocket event hosted by the…

Hollywood Democrats Plan Big Sept. 24 Fundraiser for House Candidates

Studio chieftains and major performers, producers, and directors, including Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, are planning a Sept. 24 fundraiser for top House candidates seeking to flip districts to the Democrats. The event, to be held at Marcy …

Studio chieftains and major performers, producers, and directors, including Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, are planning a Sept. 24 fundraiser for top House candidates seeking to flip districts to the Democrats. The event, to be held at Marcy Carsey’s home, will raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to attend, […]

Jeffrey Katzenberg on Oscars’ New Popular Film Category Controversy

Jeffrey Katzenberg is keeping a safe distance from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ recent controversial shakeup of the Oscars. “I’m wishing them well,” the media mogul told Variety on Thursday at the Motion Picture & Television Fun…

Jeffrey Katzenberg is keeping a safe distance from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ recent controversial shakeup of the Oscars. “I’m wishing them well,” the media mogul told Variety on Thursday at the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s NextGen party at Paramount Studios. “I love the Academy. I want it to work out […]

Hollywood Bets Big On Gavin Newsom With Heavyweight Fundraiser At Universal

While some members of the Hollywood ruling class flirted with backing ex-LA Los Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor during the primaries, there was no doubt that this Democratic town was going to line up behind Gavin Newsom once the current Lt. Gov…

While some members of the Hollywood ruling class flirted with backing ex-LA Los Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor during the primaries, there was no doubt that this Democratic town was going to line up behind Gavin Newsom once the current Lt. Governor secured the party's nomination in early June. So, it's no real surprise that next week will find Universal Pictures Chair Donna Langley joining the usual deep pocketed suspects for a pricey fundraiser for the ex-San…

Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Others Set Fundraiser for Gavin Newsom on Universal Lot

Gavin Newsom, running to succeed Jerry Brown as California’s next governor, will headline a fundraiser for his campaign next week on the Universal lot. The host committee for the Aug. 16 event includes Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spiel…

Gavin Newsom, running to succeed Jerry Brown as California’s next governor, will headline a fundraiser for his campaign next week on the Universal lot. The host committee for the Aug. 16 event includes Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath, Jeff and Laura Shell, and Ron Meyer, according […]

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo Raises $1 Billion for Mobile Content Platform

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s tech startup WndrCo has completed a billion-dollar capital raise for the mobile-first content platform that it announced earlier this year.
Currently titled “NewTV,” the platform counts every major Hollywood studi…

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s tech startup WndrCo has completed a billion-dollar capital raise for the mobile-first content platform that it announced earlier this year.

Currently titled “NewTV,” the platform counts every major Hollywood studio as an investor, as well as tech giant Alibaba, the company said Tuesday.

“It is exciting to see Hollywood embracing this new technology distribution platform built for the way we watch today,” Katzenberg said in a statement.

“With NewTV, we’ll give consumers a user-friendly platform, built for mobile, that delivers the best stories, created by the world’s top talent, allowing users to make the most of every moment of their day,” added NewTV CEO Meg Whitman, former head of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and onetime California gubernatorial candidate.

Studio investors include Disney, Entertainment One, Fox, ITV, Lionsgate, MGM, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom and Warner Media. The series round was led by strategic investors The Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Liberty Global and Madrone Capital.

Reports last fall said Katzenberg was seeking around $2 billion for his first financing round, as analysts marveled at his ability to secure facetime with leading content and distribution companies all seeking to build or acquire similar platforms.

Disney CEO Bob Iger, whose monolith is currently developing an OTT streaming service, said Tuesday he was “pleased to be part of this promising venture that will serve audiences with high-quality, short-form content designed especially for mobile viewing.”

No slate titles or talent deals were immediately announced.

Whitman joined the NewTV venture in January, stepping down from her duties as CEO at HPE. She remains on that board, and also holds board seats with Dropbox, Proctor & Gamble, Teach For America and The Nature Conservancy.

Katzenberg is a longtime Hollywood C-suite figure, having served as chairman at Disney, then founding DreamWorks where he headed the animation operation.

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