Former Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin Buys a News Site That Covers Topics Like Danny Zappin
If you’re Danny Zappin, you buy a website that writes about Web video.
Zappin, the former CEO of YouTube network Maker Studios, has bought a controlling interest in NewMediaRockstars, a two-year-old site dedicated to news about YouTube and the rest of the Web video world.
Which is interesting! If not on an Omidyar-Greenwald level.
A couple things worth noting:
- Until recently, NewMediaRockstars had done a very nice job as a YouTube trade publication, particularly when it came to tracking Web video talent.
- NMR also did a good job of conveying the Wild Westyness of the Web video industry — like when it covered the public and messy blowup between Zappin and former Maker Studios star Ray William Johnson. That weirdness, which prompted Zappin to write a staff memo acknowledging that he had previously been convicted on felony drug charges, may or may not have contributed to his departure from Maker last spring.
- Zappin is now suing Maker and its investors, alleging that they conspired to dilute his ownership and push him out of the company he co-founded.
If you wanted to, you might take a “no conflict, no interest” perspective on Zappin’s purchase of a website that writes about Zappin. Zappin himself insists it won’t be odd. “It will cover whatever it would normally cover. I’m not going to use it for a personal agenda or anything like that,” he said.
First things first: NMR shut down about two months ago, after running out of money. So Zappin will need to reboot the site.
Alan Van, who had been editing the site, will come back to restart it, and Benny Luo, NMR’s original CEO, will come back to run the property day to day, Zappin said.