Funny or Die CEO Dick Glover Exits for Mandalay Sports Media
Glover will become CEO of the Peter Guber and Mike Tollin venture, replacing Rich Battista.
Dick Glover is leaving his post as CEO of Funny or Die to become the chief of Mandalay Sports Media.
Glover, whose last day at Funny or Die will be Oct. 9, will remain a board member with the comedy website founded by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy. "While the day-to-day operations will no longer be my responsibility, I anticipate I won't be able to help myself so will probably meddle there, too," he said in a note sent to staff on Monday and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, adding that he will continue to help implement FOD's growth strategies and work on ongoing projects.
For Glover, the move to Mandalay will signal his return to sports media. Prior to joining Funny or Die in 2008, he held executive roles at WWE, ESPN and, most recently, NASCAR. Glover, who has been on the Mandalay board for the last two years, fills a hole left by former CEO Rich Battista, who took a job with Time Inc. in April. "My first love is sports, so I am excited about getting back into that arena (pun intended)," Glover wrote in the email to FOD staff.
At MSM, Glover will work closely with co-founder Mike Tollin to develop original sports properties across platforms. "Dick's the dream guy for us," said Tollin, whose many producing credits include Coach Carter and Varsity Blues. "He knows sports and he knows both old and new media. He's smart, savvy and strategic."
Under Glover's leadership, Funny or Die has grown from a website of original, funny video clips to a multi-platform production company with several television series, including truTV's Billy on the Street and IFC's The Spoils of Babylon. Glover's departure from Funny or Die comes after the company explored an acquisition earlier this year. This spring, sources said that the company was nearing a deal to sell to Viacom that ultimately never came together. Earlier this month, FOD reorganized its digital leadership, promoting Chris Bruss to president of digital content and hiring Owen Burke as editor-in-chief.
FOD COO Mitch Galbraith will assume the interim CEO role at Funny or Die while the board conducts a CEO search. Galbraith, who has also served as president of digital at the company, was FOD's first employee and Glover writes that he "has all the requisite skills to help us optimize our current strategy and priorities."
MSM, which Guber and Tollin launched in 2012, has strategic funding from Columbia Capital and Rho Ventures and in 2014 led an $11 million round in Massachusetts toymaker Oyo Sports. The company currently has Undrafted premiering its second season on CBS on Wednesday and in November will premiere documentary Kareem: A Minority of One on HBO. It also recently launched a content partnership with Vice Sports and produced half-hour scripted comedy Sin City Saints for Yahoo Screen last spring.