We have no idea what any of this means, and we could probably care less, but it does include ousted Viacom CEO Tom Freston, former AOL head Bob Pittman, and, uh, Kate Spade, so, you know, we'll slap it up here. Also, it says "embargoed news," which is a pretty good way to get your press release up on Gawker. So it's something about Plum, "a new type of media company." Get the whole story after the jump.
Hold until noon, December 21, 2006
Media and Lifestyle Leaders Invest in Plum
The Kraft Group and James Pallotta's The Raptor Fund Lead $20 Million
Funding Growth of Local Communities Network
Chris Blackwell, Jimmy Buffett, Robert Pittman, Tom Freston,
Andy and Kate Spade, and Barry Sternlicht Among Investors
NEW YORK (December 21, 2006) - Plum, the network of local television
stations produced in, for and about some of America's most dynamic
communities, today announced major investments in the company to fund
expansion into new markets, including Sun Valley and Miami Beach, and
the development of new content offerings.
Private-equity investors The Kraft Group and legendary hedge-fund
manager James Pallotta's The Raptor Fund led the $20 million round of
funding. Ackerley Partners, a privately held media and entertainment
investment group, also participated. The Pilot Group, led by former AOL
president Robert Pittman, invested as well.
Robert Kraft, CEO of The Kraft Group, said, "From our work with the NFL
and other media properties we have a good sense of the value of unique
content and unique audiences. We've been impressed by Plum's ability
to develop both, and we think the company is poised to create a
tremendous amount of value."
Jonathan Kraft and David Kraft will join the Plum board of directors,
as will former music industry executive Kevin Law.
Leaders in lifestyle, media, music and resorts joined the round,
ensuring Plum has both the funding and marketplace expertise required
for rapid growth and sustained relevancy to consumers in Plum's
high-end lifestyle and resort markets. These investors include, among
Chris Blackwell - Founder of Island Records (Bob Marley, U2); Founder
of Palm Pictures and owner of several luxury Jamaican resorts
Jimmy Buffett - World-renowned musician, author, film producer and
Nick Buoniconti -Football Hall of Fame legend
Jason Flom - Chairman and CEO of Virgin Records U.S.; Founder of Lava
Tom Freston - Former President and CEO of Viacom; Founding member of
Andy and Kate Spade - Founders of luxury and lifestyle fashion brands
Kate Spade and Jack Spade
Barry Sternlicht - Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group;
Founder of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
— more —
Plum Investment / Add One
Tom Scott, founder and CEO of Plum, said, "It's an exciting time at
Plum. We're psyched that such an inspiring group of investors share our
vision for Plum and where it's going. It's amazing to have the
opportunity to be working with and learning from some of the best in
media, entertainment, sports, fashion, travel and finance. We've got a
great team of people at Plum who really care - that's irreplaceable."
Previously, Tom was the co-CEO and co-founder of Nantucket Nectars.
Plum will expand its local reach and content by using the new funding
to acquire additional stations in Sun Valley, Idaho and has secured
cable distribution for a new Plum channel in Miami Beach, Florida. Plum
has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the television
assets of E-Da-Hoe, Inc., including the KSVX and KSVT television
stations serving Sun Valley. The deal is contingent on FCC approval
that is expected in early 2007. These two new markets will join Plum's
current markets of Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, the Hamptons, Vail,
Aspen, and Telluride. More than 10 million of the nation's most
influential people visit these markets each year.
In addition to television programming in these markets, Plum has
entered into distribution agreements with AOL video and Tivo broadband.
Plum also is expanding online content at Plumtv.com, including local
events calendars, weather, video, photos, community news and real
estate listings unique to each market. Content uploading and sharing
capabilities, and interests in proprietary content development and
production are also underway.
Chris Glowacki, president of Plum, said, "Plum is developing two
complementary businesses. We have a very effective distribution
business that connects deeply with hard-to-reach influencers. And we
have a lifestyle content business that ensures both viewers and
advertisers find us compelling and relevant. This new investment and
the experts advising us help ensure we can grow both of these very
Plum is a new type of media company. Produced in, for and about some of
America's most dynamic communities, Plum programming is honest,
authentic and optimistic. It celebrates the natural beauty and
character of its communities and spirit and intellect of the people who
live and visit there. Plum's current markets are Nantucket, Martha's
Vineyard, the Hamptons, Vail, Aspen and Telluride. Miami Beach and Sun
Valley will become operational Plum stations in the summer of 2007.
While the towns may be small, the reach and influence is not. Plum's
markets are destinations of choice for over 10 million of the nation's
most interesting and influential people each year. They are people who
define the culture in the media, business, arts and politics. They are
Plum's audience as well as its content. Increasingly, Plum is available
to a broader audience beyond its communities through video on demand
and the Inte