The Chernin Group, founded by Former News Corp COO Peter Chernin, has launched CA Media, a company that will “strategically build, manage, and operate media, entertainment, and technology businesses throughout Asia,” with a specific initial focus on India, China and Indonesia. Chernin will serve as the Chairman of CA Media, while Paul Aiello, who was previously the CEO of STAR Group, and is likely to be familiar with the Asian terrain, will be CEO. Apart from The Chernin Group and (Paul) Aiello, CA Media is backed by Allen & Company LLC, Brookside Capital (an affiliate of Bain Capital), Gordon Crawford, and Kimberly Querrey, among others.
This launch in line with the ‘Go East and Go Digital’ strategy that Chernin outlined last year. CA Media will focus on content creation for film and TV, TV networks, sports, education, advertising and digital media. It plans to partner “local entrepreneurs, strategic partners, and financing sources to launch new enterprises, enhance the growth of businesses in their formative stages, and selectively pursue later-stage transactions”; That, obviously, could mean anything (and everything) in the content space. Chernin suggests that in the Asian markets, “there is less distinction between ‘traditional media’ and new media. “Nearly everything is growing.” Well, Chernin might have have to rethink new media in India, because the distinction between traditional media and new media couldn’t me more stark than here.
What’s interesting in this context is that arrangement that Chernin inked with News Corp on departure (read the SEC filing here, via PaidContent), allowed him certain motion picture and television production arrangements, which allow News Corp (or Fox Entertainment) with “a first look for proposed television programming and motion picture projects from Mr. Chernin for the next six years, with the specific terms and conditions of the film and production arrangements negotiable. The agreement is valid until July 1, 2015 or “the date on which Mr. Chernin becomes a full-time employee of another company that is engaged in, and derives more than 10% of its revenue from, film or television production.” BusinessWeek had reported that ‘Fox would be required to buy “at least” two movies a year from him, paying a fee “at least as favorable as the most favorable agreement” the studio had with a producer in 2004, when he signed the agreement.’