The parent company of AmericanLife TV Network and FamilyNet TV said it hired a veteran asset manager and investment banker, Ryland Reed, as executive vice president of business development, tasked with overseeing a planned $50 million fund to produce original programming.
Reed has more than 15 years in private equity banking, retail banking, sales & marketing, and operational management. Before ComStar he was VP and financial adviser for Bernstein Global Wealth Management, where he served for three years.
Earlier he was co-founder and managing director of the private venture capital firm Point Capital Partners, where he managed more than $65 million across several different investment funds, ComStar said. Before that he was Western region VP of sales and director of sales and business development for Digital Generation Systems where he negotiated and implemented strategic partnerships for media distribution products and services including Paramount Pictures and Microsoft's Media and Entertainment Group.
ComStar CEO Chris Wyatt said the company would choose an investment bank to underwrite the fund soon and that it could be backing original productions "before the summer." The networks will be announcing plans for new scripted and reality shows soon, he said.
"Starting in a couple of weeks we're going to be announcing some pretty big names, and these will be A players," Wyatt said. "For a cable network of this size i think you're going to find original programming that's quite surprising." FamilyNet has about 10 million cable subscribers (and 16 million homes in range of broadcast affiliates) while ALN has 12 million. Wyatt has talked about combining the two networks at some point.
Wyatt and Dr. Robert A. Schuller founded the ComStar Media Fund in 2008, which acquired ALN and FamilyNet last year and plans to make more media acquisitions, according to Wyatt.
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