I Guess That Fortune Cookie Was Right: Danny Zappin Buys NewMediaRockstars

Editor’s note:

Dear NewMediaRockstars Reader,

So … how’s it going?

Yeah, we know it’s been a hot minute since we last talked, but we missed you. We really, really missed you. And judging from your emails, you missed us too (Okay, fine – one of them was from my mom asking whether or not I was still working at that “NPR place.” Yes, mom, I still work at NPR, and no, mom, I still haven’t married a doctor [sigh].).

Anyhow, we were talking about how much we love and adore NMR with all our hearts. And how could you not? NewMediaRockstars brings you the latest and greatest news on the online video horizon (“Marie Osmond does the ‘Gangnam Style’ … in 2013”!), profiles of its shiniest stars (John Basedow, I’m looking at you) and our trademark hard-hitting analyses and exposés (See: “Why Nyan Cat Sucks More Than Keyboard Cat”).

Well, we’re back. And this time, Danny Zappin is on board. Yes, that Danny Zappin. You know, the online video visionary, the pioneer who founded Maker Studios … and we promise that if Danny or any of his business guys ever goes apeshit at the NMR offices, we will break the story — NMR’s journalistic ethos always come first.

More seriously, here’s the official news regarding how NewMediaRockstars is set to kick ass and take names (but we’re still getting back into the groove of things, so bear with us while we ramp up the awesomeness over the coming weeks):

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Danny Zappin Buys NewMediaRockstars

Co-founder of Maker Studios Sees Media Property as the Next EW.com for Online Video Biz

(Los Angeles, Calif. – October 17, 2013) Danny Zappin, co-founder and former CEO of YouTube content giant Maker Studios, announced today that he has acquired all media holdings and assets of NewMediaRockstars, which includes their flagship Internet website NewMediaRockstars.com (NMR). The seller was NMR’s founding investor Ryan Devitis.

NMR original CEO Benny Luo, who had left to work on other startups, returns to the site as president, and will retain an ownership stake in the business. NMR editorial chief Alan Van will continue at NMR in the editor role.

NMR was launched in late 2011, and quickly found a large audience by being dedicated solely to the exploding new media and online video business.  The site is best known for its coverage of rising YouTube talent, with extensive interviews and video packages of musicians and other online video artists wrapped around eye-catching web graphics. 

Zappin, who was the primary force in growing the YouTube multi-channel network Maker Studios before stepping down as CEO last May, sees a huge growth potential for NMR.

“NewMediaRockstars has had a great editorial product from day one,” said Zappin. “The challenge the site has always faced is working capital. The plan is to broaden NMR’s business model so that it can be to new media and online video what Entertainment Weekly was to the film, TV, and book business when EW launched in the early 1990s.”

NMR editor Van added: “I’m excited to work with Danny Zappin on the relaunched NewMediaRockstars. The magazine will carry on with the fresh and exciting editorial voice that readers have gotten to know, and the content will be more dynamic than ever with our new and expanded resources.”

NMR’s Luo sees parallels to another media legacy with NMR’s sophisticated coverage of YouTube talent and the business of online video. Luo said, “My mission from the inception of NMR has been to expand the discussion of the world of online video the same way Rolling Stone covers music, culture, and politics. I look forward to working with both Danny Zappin and our excellent editor Alan Van, along with the new business team. We will grow the readership of NMR exponentially through better editorial product and execute on a plan to expand that includes NMR conferences and seminars.”