Board Member and Outgoing COO, Paras Maniar, to Assume Role of Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Development
EQAL Expands Reach to Over 60 Million Consumers Across More Than 40 Media Networks Including JenniferLopez.com, Bethenny.com, and LaurenConrad.com
LOS ANGELES, May 24, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Robert Weiss has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer for EQAL, it was announced today by EQAL co-founders Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried.
As Chief Operating Officer for EQAL, Weiss oversees all day-to-day creative and business aspects for EQAL's portfolio of more than 40 media properties that include its Celebrity Influencer Networks, Branded Entertainment Networks and Owned & Operated Networks. In his new role, Weiss also has oversight of EQAL Media Studios as well as the company's business operations including human resources, research/analytics, business affairs, business development, marketing, publicity, media branding and social media strategy.
"Rob is an extraordinary executive who came into the company and successfully grew the Media Networks Group through his leadership, creativity and smart decision making. Rob is a perfect fit at EQAL and we are thrilled that he will now take on the role of Chief Operating Officer," said EQAL co-founders, CEO Miles Beckett and President Greg Goodfried. "As EQAL moves into the future, we are fortunate that longtime EQAL Board Member and talented executive, Paras Maniar, will evolve into a new role as Chief Strategy Officer and EVP Corporate Development to support our growth."
"Rob has been a tremendous asset to EQAL's Media Networks and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in our new positions. I have known Rob for many years and brought him into the company confident that he would play an important role in our future. There is no one I would rather have take on the Chief Operating Officer duties as I move into a role focused on strategic planning, developing new monetization opportunities, and formalizing key business relationships necessary for our next phase of growth," said Maniar, a founding executive and Board Member who has been with EQAL since 2008.
Weiss's promotion to EQAL's Chief Operating Officer comes just eight months after he joined the company as Chief Content Officer and Head of Media Networks. In that previous role, Weiss significantly increased EQAL's monthly social media reach to more than 60 million consumers by launching 20 new celebrity media networks including JenniferLopez.com; BellaThorneOffical.com, JWOWW.com and Bethenny.com.
A digital media pioneer, Weiss was among the first in Hollywood to produce content specifically for the Internet back in the 1990s. Throughout his career, Weiss has transitioned between digital media and traditional media; between being a seller and a buyer of content; between the creative and business sides of the industry; and between large corporations and startup operations.
Commenting on his promotion, Weiss said: "I couldn't be more honored to take on this expanded role as Chief Operating Officer. There is still so much potential for EQAL's proprietary technology platform to transform ordinary websites into brand-building, revenue-generating 21st-century media properties. I look forward to working with all the incredibly talented people at EQAL to create new social media solutions and digital opportunities for both celebrities and brands."
Since arriving at EQAL, Weiss has overseen the expansive growth of EQAL's social media reach and content creation, which includes more than 6,000 blog posts that have generated some 200,000 registrations and almost 400,000 comments. Weiss has also been responsible for the successful launch of u look haute, EQAL's YouTube-funded original fashion and beauty channel that has surpassed more than 2.5 million video views since its April debut.
Under Weiss's leadership, the audience for EQAL's Media Networks significantly increased across a wide variety of metrics. Social media reach across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other services jumped 300% from 14.4M connections to 60.1M connections. Pageviews on dot-com's increased 65% from 11M to 18.9M per month. And, unique visitors have more than doubled from 1.8M to nearly 5M per month.
Prior to joining EQAL, Weiss was CEO of Parkwood Media Ventures. This next-generation media incubator identified, developed and helped launch a diverse portfolio of content-centric entertainment businesses that span television, gaming, the Internet and wireless/mobile. Parkwood Media Ventures also targeted distressed media assets for sale, roll-up or turnaround.
Before his tenure as a media entrepreneur, Weiss served as a seniorlevel executive for a wide range of cable networks including VH1, FX and FUSE. With a track record of growing media companies with revenue-producing leadership, Weiss guided the FUSE network through a period of exponential success. While leading FUSE – ratings doubled, ad sales doubled, web traffic quadrupled and the cable network became the nation's #1ranked channel in audience concentration of 1234 year olds. Known as a highly-effective turnaround agent, Weiss tripled the amount of original programming across all of FUSE's media platforms to 1,500 hours, successfully launching 23 series on television, the Internet, VOD and mobile.
Earlier in his career, Weiss served for 10 years as co-CEO of Buccieri & Weiss Entertainment. This awardwinning multiplatform production company produced more than 2,000 hours of programming for cable, broadcast, syndication, international markets, home video and the Internet. Weiss worked with almost every major broadcast and cable network including NBC, ABC, FOX, The WB, MTV, FX, Lifetime, TLC, Discovery, Animal Planet and others.
Weiss had a very unusual start to his Hollywood career. An avid collector of TV Guide since childhood, Weiss made his pilgrimage to Los Angeles after receiving a telephone call from television legend Brandon Tartikoff, who personally responded to a letter that Weiss had mailed directly to the NBC mogul's home address. In that letter, Weiss boasted about his super-sized TV Guide collection.
Prior to writing his letter to Tartikoff, Weiss was a successful print and broadcast journalist. By the time he was 25-years-old, Weiss had already worked as a producer for NBC's "TODAY Show" and as a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Times. A native of Boston, Weiss received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
EQAL is a next-generation media company that combines technology and people to power 24/7/365 digital media properties around consumer brands and celebrities. An EQAL media property is a multiplatform digital magazine that creates a seamless experience for fans across various devices and social networks. With more than 40 media properties, EQAL's award-winning Media Networks include Jennifer Lopez.com; Bethenny.com; Elizabeth Banks.com; ToriSpelling.com; Lauren Conrad.com; Alicia Silverstone's TheKindLife.com; Derek Hough.com; YouTube phenoms ElleandBlair.com and Michelle Phan.com; WalkWithWalgreens.com, KRAFT's RealWomenofPhiladelphia.com and others. The growing EQAL network reaches more than 60 million trend-setting consumers and generates billions of content impressions every month. EQAL was founded by online programming pioneers Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried who created many of the "firsts" in the development of the online video industry with lonelygirl15, KateModern and Harpers Globe.
For more information, please contact:
Jill Siegel, VP Communications, EQAL
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|[Image]||Robert Weiss photo 5-2012 v2|