Classic Media

Classic Media
Classic Media
Type Private ownership (until 2007)
Industry Intellectual property, TV, film, entertainment
Founded 2000
Founder(s) Eric Ellenbogen
John Engelman
Headquarters New York, New York, United States
Key people Eric Ellenbogen, John Engelman Chairman & C.E.O.
Robert Friedman, President
Products TV, film, consumer products, home video
Revenue $10 0 million (2004)[1]
Employees 70 (2004)[1]
Parent Boomerang Media
Subsidiaries Big Idea Entertainment
Bullwinkle Studios
Woodland Animations

Classic Media, LLC, is an American production company and distributor of family programming. It was founded in 2000 by former Marvel Entertainment CEO Eric Ellenbogen and former Broadway Video executive John Engelman in hopes of acquiring mismanaged classic properties and giving exposure to them.

Their library consists of properties which they acquired from other companies, including United Productions of America, Harvey Entertainment, Golden Books Family Entertainment, Big Idea Entertainment, and Entertainment Rights.



In May 2000, Ellenbogen and Engelman launch Classic Media with funding from Pegasus Capital Advisors, Frank Biondi's Waterview Partners and the Tisch family. Classic acquired a number of companies for their media properties including UPA and Harvey Entertainment[1] With Random House in 2001, Classic Media wins a bankruptcy court auction for the assets of Golden Books Family Entertainment including the assumption the debt with Random House receiving all the publishing properties and Classic its entertainment division.[2][3] In 2002, the company teamed up with the estate of Jay Ward to create a joint venture called Bullwinkle Studios, which manages all rights to the Jay Ward Productions animated catalog (with Classic Media owning an 80% stake and the Ward estate owning 20%). In 2003, Classic Media purchased the assets of the bankrupt Big Idea Productions.[4]

In 2005, the company was recapitalized by an investment group led by Spectrum Equity Investors and existing partner Pegasus Capital Advisors. This investment group also included Random House Ventures, a private equity subsidiary of Random House which is now known as Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI).[5] In 2006, Classic Media teamed up with ION Media Networks, NBCUniversal, Corus Entertainment, and Scholastic Corporation in a joint venture to launch qubo, a general kids and family entertainment network.

On December 14, 2006, it was announced that Classic Media (CM) would be acquired by UK-based rival Entertainment Rights (ER) for $210.0 million, and the deal was completed on January 11, 2007. Before the acquisition of CM by ER was completed, both companies announced distribution and production agreements with Genius Products, LLC, replacing the deal with Sony Wonder.[6]

On April 1, 2009, it was announced that Boomerang Media, LLC would acquire Entertainment Rights' principal U.K. and U.S. subsidiaries, including Classic Media, Inc. and Big Idea, Inc.[7][8] On May 11, 2009, CM announced that the former U.K. and U.S. subsidiaries of ER would operate as a unified business under the new parent company's name, Classic Media. Big Idea, Inc. would operate under its own name. [9][10]



1. The Where's Waldo? TV series is owned by HiT Communications plc.

2. The pre-1974 Rankin/Bass theatrical library is owned by French production company StudioCanal (the successor company to original distributor Embassy Pictures), with Anchor Bay Entertainment handling video rights and Sony Pictures Television handling television distribution.

3. In regards to Richie Rich and Casper, the only exceptions are the characters' appearances in media produced by Hanna-Barbera, including Casper and the Angels, the 1980 Richie Rich series, and two Casper TV specials; these are owned by Hanna-Barbera's parent company, Time Warner (through Warner Bros.), and also The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper (based on the 1995 Casper film), produced by Universal Cartoon Studios and Amblin Television and owned by NBCUniversal.

4. The Program Exchange currently holds the TV distribution rights to Underdog, and the Ward catalog, except for George of the Jungle, which is handled via CBS Television Distribution.

5. Warner Bros. Television Distribution currently holds the TV distribution rights to the Gumby catalog through their 1989 acquisition of Lorimar-Telepictures.

6. Most of the Little Lulu cartoons themselves are currently owned by other entities such as Republic/Paramount Pictures (Television distribution through Trifecta Entertainment & Media) and Cinar, depending upon when this material was originally made and released.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Jill Goldsmith, Jill Goldsmith (Jan. 9, 2005). "Finding gold in Classic fare". Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "'Poky Little' $84M deal". August 16, 2001. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D. (August 16, 2001). "2 Companies Pay $84 Million for Golden Books". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  4. ^ Smietana, Bob (9/01/2003). "VeggieTales Creators File for Bankruptcy". Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Spectrum Equity Investors Takes Majority Stake in Classic Media, America's Largest Independent Family Entertainment Company". PRNewswire. 4/7/2005. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  6. ^ "Genius Products". Genius Products. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  7. ^ Hodkinson, Paul (April 2, 2009). "He-Man, Casper Bought by Private-Equity Firm". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  8. ^ "Boomerang Media Buys ER". World Screen News. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  9. ^ "Classic Media Absorbs Subsidiaries". Home Media Magazine. May 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  10. ^ "Entertainment Rights to Operate as Classic Media". Animation World Network. May 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 

External links

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