Courtside Entertainment CEO Norm Pattiz has formed a partnership with Kit Gray to form Launchpad Digital Media (www.launchpaddigitalmedia.com) a new division. The Podcast platform includes some of the biggest names in digital entertainment including Adam Carolla, Bill Burr, CBS News, Afterbuzz TV with Maria Menuounos, Jay Mohr, Dr. Drew, Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist), Mark Maron, Mark & Lynda, Brian & Jill, and Penn Jillette. Launchpad will also be home to the Sideshow Network, The Fake Mustache Network, Riotcast Network, Splitsider Network and the Toad Hop Network making Launchpad one of the industry’s largest players.
Pattiz tells RBR-TVBR: “Kit and I have formed a partnership between himself and Courtside. It’ll be managed under the Courtside banner. Kit will be the president of the company—he’s built himself a nice business. So that business, plus the programming stuff that we’re currently doing—and stuff that we will be doing (there will be announcements on that later this week)—those things will all be represented by Launchpad.”
Gray is a pioneer in digital, online and podcast sales. Gray has represented programming that exceeds a half billion podcast downloads annually. He’s worked with media agencies throughout the nation, served as a Division Manager for Clear Channel (Katz 360 Digital), was the Director of Advertising for Verizon’s EV-DO networks Amp’d Mobile and was the recipient of the Seller of the Year award for Katz Media Group.
“Forming a partnership with Norm Pattiz, the founder of Westwood One, with his incredible vision and history of working with the top talent is an unbelievable opportunity,” added Gray. “This partnership, as a division of Courtside allows us to offer all of our existing clients more resources to expand their products and deliver more audience to develop the advertiser support that will benefit us all.”
Patty Newmark, President and CEO of Newmark Advertising, one of the industry’s most important agencies said “The digital space for audio is growing exponentially and has allowed us to extend additional opportunities to our clients. Having a highly respected leader of the radio industry like Norm Pattiz form a new venture with Kit Gray, an expert in the area of digital media, is very exciting. These two innovators working together will create important opportunities within the changing media landscape.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Like Pattiz said at the Talkers convention in L.A., it’s getting tougher to access audience through the existing radio medium without including digital. After the Rush-Sandra Fluke fiasco, it’s harder to pitch national advertisers–other than DR–in Talk radio than ever. It energized political operatives like Media matters to go to advertisers who were in Conservative Talk radio—and the top and bottom hour news breaks around it—and tell them to pull. So this is a different way to access the audience without being dependent on national radio advertisers.