Legendary Entertainment Acquires Chris Hardwick's Nerdist Industries
LEGENDARY ENTERTAINMENT ACQUIRES NERDIST INDUSTRIES
Los Angeles, CA, July 10, 2012 — Legendary Entertainment has finalized an agreement to purchase Nerdist Industries, the leading multi-platform creator of genre and popular culture founded by comedian and new media personality, Chris Hardwick, and operated by CEO, Peter Levin. Nerdist comprises a popular website, YouTube channel, a podcast network, targeted e-newsletters, a television footprint and a live events business. Across the Nerdist network of assets they are able to reach in aggregate 15 million viewers, readers and listeners per month. Legendary Entertainment, led by Chairman and CEO, Thomas Tull, was an early investor in Nerdist. The announcement was made today by Legendary Entertainment COO, Tim Connors, to whom both Hardwick and Levin will report.
“We've been impressed with how Chris and Peter have harnessed the Nerdist platform to create and deliver high-quality, relevant content, and then develop one-on-one relationships with the fans we see as Legendary's core psychographic,” said Tull.
Connors continued: “With the acquisition, we'll be empowered to more aggressively help Nerdist broaden their reach as an autonomous editorial brand, as well as pursue some exciting new ideas together.”
Hardwick and Levin will continue in their current roles within Nerdist, and will also take on the roles of Co-Presidents of Legendary’s digital business with Hardwick serving as Co-President Digital Content and Levin functioning as Co-President Digital Strategy. They will work closely with Legendary’s executive management team on event management and comics-related operations.
"This amazing deal allows Nerdist to not only scale our existing business beyond what we could have imagined, but also to extend into film and television while symbiotically supporting Legendary’s digital strategies,” said Hardwick. “Legendary’s ”˜let's just make stuff that we really want to see exist in the world,’ philosophy is exactly aligned with ours."
The deal calls for Nerdist to maintain complete editorial autonomy and operations, while benefitting from Legendary Entertainment’s resources and platform as the company continues to offer up quality, “fanboy” content to audiences around the world.
“Legendary’s vision and trajectory as a top-down leader in providing genre-themed content to a very discriminating audience is the ideal environment for Nerdist to thrive. The fact that we can retain the independent nature of the brand while working closely with the team at Legendary is an exciting next step in the evolution of the Nerdist Industries brand,” said Levin.
This month Nerdist, alongside partners Lucasfilm Ltd. and Octagon, produced Course of the Force, a five-day lightsaber relay race from July 7 through July 11. The race began at the Santa Monica Pier and ends at the San Diego Comic Con International, and benefits Make-A-Wish.
Nerdist was founded in 2008 by comedian, author, podcaster, new media personality and AMC's The Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick. In 2011, Nerdist and GeekChicDaily merged to form Nerdist Industries with Hardwick serving as Founder and Chief Creative Officer and digital media entrepreneur Peter Levin, serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the new company. Levin had previously co-founded GeekChicDaily with Peter Guber’s Mandalay Entertainment Group. Guber was a significant shareholder in Nerdist and served as a key advisor to the group through the formation and launch.
ABOUT NERDIST INDUSTRIES
Nerdist Industries is a multi-platform creator of genre and popular culture content. Nerdist Industries now consists of a popular website at Nerdist.com; a premium YouTube channel (youtube.com/nerdist), a top comedy/popular culture podcast network on iTunes that is also produced as a TV show on BBC America; the Nerdist News daily e-newsletters, a following of over 1.6 million Twitter fans, a book, The Nerdist Way, by The Penguin Group; a plethora of live events and much more. Nerdist Industries is headquartered at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, CA.
ABOUT LEGENDARY ENTERTAINMENT
Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television (Legendary Television) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to mainstream audiences with a targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic. Through complete or joint ownership, Legendary is building a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world's most popular intellectual property. Among the wholly-owned projects that Legendary Pictures is currently developing in-house are the upcoming Seventh Son, directed by Sergei Bodrov; the Jackie Robinson biopic 42; an adaptation of the phenomenally successful interactive game universe Warcraft; Godzilla, based on Toho Company’s famed character; Warren Ellis’ Gravel; and Mass Effect, based on Electronic Arts’ and BioWare’s hit videogame franchise. Upcoming Legendary releases with partner Warner Bros. include the highly anticipated Pacific Rim, as well as Hangover 3, Man of Steel, Jack the Giant Killer,300: Battle of Artemisium, and this summer’s The Dark Knight Rises. Previous successful Legendary and Warner Bros. releases include the critically acclaimed Inception, which has been a box office smash grossing more than $823 million worldwide, as well as the global blockbusters The Hangover, Parts I and II (over $1 billion worldwide total), Clash of the Titans ($493 million worldwide), The Dark Knight ($1 billion worldwide), and 300($456 million worldwide).