Former CEO Jeff Zucker is looking for companies in the entertainment, media

CEO Jeff Zucker
CEO Jeff Zucker

To pursue appealing M&A prospects in the media & entertainment sector, Jeff Zucker, who oversaw CNN for over ten years, will direct $1 billion in money from Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital Partners and Abu Dhabi-backed International Media Investments.

The money is invested in a partnership called RedBird IMI, which will probably pursue similar assets in the Redbird portfolio. Redbird has deep ties to the entertainment industry and $7 billion in capital under management. In November, it most recently backed Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in a venture called Artists Equity (AE).

An artist-led studio, AE expands access to profit participation, supports the commercialization of intellectual property through creator collaborations, and uses a data-driven strategy for content distribution. In the first project, Damon plays the lead role in a film on the real-life history of the Air Jordan Brand, which Affleck directs.

CEO Jeff Zucker ‘ image from Observer

It is being made in collaboration with Mandalay Pictures, Skydance Sports, and Amazon Studios.

“In the past, a movie’s success was determined by how well it did at the box office. Now that streaming has become more popular, the economy of making movies has fundamentally shifted. No matter how the industry changes, though, Ben and I are confident that the power will remain in the hands of the artists, Matt Damon, Chief Content Officer of AE, remarked.

In essence, the project is designed to give artists a more significant share of the money made by movies and TV series. Many people in Hollywood are unhappy with profit participation agreements because they rely on the conventional revenue model, which gets most of its money from the box office and DVD sales.

Many well-known actors, directors, and producers have complained that they aren’t getting their fair part of their earnings as streaming has become so popular, and many content firms are swiftly shifting movies from theatres to their streaming services.

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