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Robert Rodriguez’s Comcast Network Targets Next Generation Of U.S. Latinos

By | Tuesday February 21, 2012 @ 9:46am PST

Robert Rodriguez, P. Diddy, Magic Johnson, Said Schwartz Begin 4 New Minority-Owned Indie Networks With Comcast

Robert Rodriguez, FactoryMade Ventures CEO John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa said they are looking to serve a U.S.-born Latino market they believe is underserved with their El Rey Network. It’s one of four new independent networks Comcast announced today that was selected among more than 100 proposals. As part of the news, the El Rey group announced the formation of Tres Pistoleros, which will develop programming for El Rey, creating content across multiple platforms including reality, scripted and animated series as well as movies, documentaries, music, comedy and sports programming. El Rey will primarily be in English and showcase Hispanic producers, celebrities and public figures. ”What we’re going to offer is not currently out there,” Rodriguez told Deadline. “The majority of the players today are doing a fantastic job serving the first generation [of Latinos in America], and what we want to do is serve their offspring.” The trio said they hope to launch by January 2014. Read More »

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Ex-Agent John Fogelman Signs Deal To Re-Imagine J.C. Penney – & J.J. Abrams Helped

By | Thursday January 26, 2012 @ 9:05pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Former Hollywood agent John Fogelman just phoned to tell me that his FactoryMade Ventures and JC Penney are announcing a 3-year partnership on Friday. The retailer announced on Wednesday it is rebranding itself “jcpenney” and will have a new pricing strategy, corporate identity, new merchandise and updated stores by 2015. One of its brand partners will be Ellen DeGeneres. Penney wants Fogelman’s outfit to help ”re-imagine innovative media and entertainment opportunities”.

This is the introduction that Fogelman’s former client/investor/partner J.J. Abrams set up before the TV producer/filmmaker decided he was too busy and exited those roles. Abrams is friends with ex-Target Chief Marketing Officer Michael Francis who recently joined forces with ex-Apple Retail stores guru Ron Johnson to reinvent J.C. Penney. “They want my company to help reimagine the bricks and mortar experience and online experience,” Fogelman told me. “Just the way that we helped reimagine Hasbro from a toy company into a media company.”

Fogelman, whose company also advises Telefonica, claims that under the 3-year partnership with JC Penney his firm will be paid an annual consultancy fee. Fogelman says another deal with a new client for a new venture announcing March 1 will be the biggest project yet for his firm. Fogelman, a former WME board member, Fogelman brought with him the entire WME skunkworks division in September 2011 to develop a hybrid entertainment and media business and consulting firm.

Fogelman’s is not the only marketing and branding firm hired by J.C. Penney for the transformation to work alongside the retailer’s in-house creative team … Read More »

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J.J. Abrams No Longer Investor In John Fogelman’s Factorymade Ventures: “Not A Good Fit”

By | Saturday January 21, 2012 @ 12:36pm PST

John Fogelman just phoned me to report that he and JJ Abrams went to dinner two weeks ago and came to the conclusion that the writer-director-producer is too busy to be a partner anymore in Fogelman’s company Factorymade Ventures. The pairing was announced with great fanfare last September after Abrams had taken a brief work sabbatical. At the time Abrams said in a press release: “I felt strongly about continuing to work with John, and this was a chance to support his latest ambitious enterprise, just as he has supported me over the years.” Abrams’ Bad Robot producing partner Bryan Burk was to play an active role in the new company, which was located adjacent to Bad Robot’s headquarters in Santa Monica.

But since then Abrams under his own Bad Robot banner is one of the busiest guys in showbiz with two major network TV shows (Person of Interest on CBS and Alcatraz on Fox) and a major sequel to Star Trek for Paramount as well as multiple apps like the just launched ‘Action Movie’ on iPhone and iPad. Not just Fogelman but insiders close to Abrams also assure me there’s been no falling out between the two men who have a long association dating back to William Morris and WME days as agent and client, and say the duo will likely work together again in the future. “But JJ needs to focus on Bad Robot and the movie he’s directing, the shows and apps and other … Read More »

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TOLDJA! John Fogelman Starting Company With Client J.J. Abrams As Principal Investor

By | Tuesday September 6, 2011 @ 9:21am PDT

John Fogelman’s Plans Post-WME

EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that John Fogelman and J.J. Abrams are launching Factorymade Ventures with four global clients: Telefonica, Hasbro, RTL Group, and Intel. The entire WME skunkworks division, which had stayed on the 2nd floor of WME through June, is following Fogelman and joining the new hybrid entertainment and media business development and consulting firm company, including head Cristina Patwa. Abrams (Fogelman’s former WMA/WME client who left WME altogether recently), Michael Bay (another of Fogelman’s former WMA/WME clients), Robert Rodriguez, Thom Beers, and Whoopi Goldberg have already begun developing projects with the newly formed company. I told you all not to underestimate Fogelman. MORE

UPDATE: Here is the news release:

Santa Monica, CA (September 6, 2011) –  John Fogelman, former William Morris Endeavor (WME) board member, today announced the launch of FactoryMade Ventures, http://www.factorymade.com, a hybrid entertainment, media business development and consulting firm.  Filmmaker J.J. Abrams, a long-time Fogelman client, will join FactoryMade as its principal investor.

FactoryMade Ventures will partner with leading creative talent and inspired companies to develop and deliver content across multiple platforms worldwide.  Initial plans for new ventures include creating various formats of original short-form programming, developing interactive viewing and gaming experiences, incubating projects for digital and mobile platforms as well as launching cable and network television both domestically and in emerging markets

Read More »

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J.J. Abrams Taking WME Agency Sabbatical: Will Be Repped By Manager And Lawyer

EXCLUSIVE: There has been no internal announcement at WME about this. And the feeding frenzy has already started, with manager David Lonner’s phone ringing off the hook with calls from every major agency within minutes of Deadline first scooping the news. Because we’ve learned that Super 8 director JJ Abrams is taking a sabbatical from WME and will be repped by his former William Morris agent-turned-manager David Lonner as well as his longtime Jackoway Tyerman attorney Alan Wertheimer. Also advising JJ is John Fogelman, who also was on Team Abrams at William Morris and then repped him at WME when Lonner was exited before the merger. Fogelman has since left WME to start his own venture. Abrams feels his primary reps are gone, and he wants to take a breather before deciding who’ll make his deals in the future. Abrams is telling friends that when Lonner left WMA, he still had Fogelman. But when Fogelman left the merged WME, he was without a dedicated agent. So he’s now decided to “just take a beat” to figure out where he should be agency-wise. “He may very well end up at WME. But it is irresponsible to just assume that is the way to go simply because his agent(s) once worked there,” one insider emailed us just now. “He likes those guys. But he needs to consider everything.” Meanwhile, writer-director-producer Abrams and his reps … Read More »

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WME’s John Fogelman Moves To 2nd Floor

By | Tuesday March 15, 2011 @ 8:35am PDT

Some Internet media sites should stop writing about Hollywood agents because they get it wrong again and again. Witness Sharon Waxman and The Wrap (aka The Crap): they’re once again erroneously reporting about tenpercenteries, this time that WME board member John Fogelman “said hasty goodbyes on Friday, packed up and left” WME Entertainment and “would be working from home.” In fact, what The Crap laughably doesn’t know is that Fogelman merely moved his office to WME’s second floor where he continues to work until, as Deadline accurately reportedly last week, he figures out what he wants to do after deciding he wants to depart the agency. Waxman and The Crap have been wrong nearly every time they write about agents. Most infamously, Waxman in 2009 erroneously and repeatedly reported that her sources said the William Morris-Endeavor merger was not happening and would never happen. And as recently as a few days ago, she was wrong again, this time erroneously reporting that Fogelman was not leaving WME. And, as if that weren’t enough, she erroneously headlined late last week that Fogelman made a “sudden” decision to leave WME — when in fact he made the decision back in December as Deadline accurately reported. And now she headlines this erroneous Fogelman-has-left-the-building nonsense. Add this to all the other stuff that Waxman and TheWrap get wrong, and you start to understand why Hollywood calls her site TheCrap.

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UPDATE: John Fogelman’s Plans Post-WME

2ND UPDATE, FRIDAY 3 PM: This morning after being intro’ed by Patrick Whitesell, John Fogelman stood up at WME’s quarterly meeting inside the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and gave a small “I-was-lucky-to-work-here” speech. He received a standing ovation. Love him or hate him (and those laid-off Morris agents who weren’t given the opportunity to transition to WME sure do), Fogelman nevertheless is a force of nature to be reckoned with in Hollywood. WME insiders don’t expect the agency to replace John on the board. ”The feeling is that there are too many people on the board already. Don’t expect them to add another name,” I’m told.

Meanwhile, Fogelman’s decision to depart WME was by no means sudden. I’m told he made the decision as far back as December right after a conversation with his kids. ”They love the Seinfeld show and were asking him why did Jerry quit. And John told them, ‘Because the ideal is that you quit when you’re at the top.’ And that started the thought in his head,” said one of my insiders. Fogelman considers the pinnacle of his career when he turned Discovery Kids into The Hub with Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. See their photo above from this Wall Street Journal story back in November 2009. (“I launched a network. No agent had ever done that before,” John tells pals.) As well as helping his clients JJ Abrams (still managed by David Lonner) and Michael Bay on this … Read More »

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