Zealot Networks Acquires J.B. Smoove's Converge Media Group (Exclusive)
The acquisition comes on the heels of Zealot's purchase of management firm Premier Sports & Entertainment.
Danny Zappin's Zealot Networks has acquired Converge Media Group, the management firm co-founded by comedian J.B. Smoove.
The acquisition gives Zealot a New York presence and digital production capabilities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Converge partners, including Rick Dorfman, Conan Smith, Lou Calderone and Adam Benowitz, have become shareholders in Zealot.
Converge was founded in 2013 to pair talent management with digital production and branded entertainment. The company manages Smoove and other comedy-centric talent including producers Madeline Smithberg (The Daily Show) and Ryan Ling (Guy Code).
Converge is the latest in a string of acquisitions from Zealot, which Zappin founded in August 2014. The former CEO of Maker Studios says he is looking to create a digital media business through the acquisition of companies across a number of verticals. Among Zealot's purchases are audio and music licensing firm AudioMicro and sports management firm Premier Sports & Entertainment. Zappin says he is also eyeing music firms and brand agencies.
"This is an MCN but it's a multi-company network, not a multi-channel network," he explains. "The idea is that all these companies are synergistically working together."
With Converge, Zappin sees opportunity to expand Zealot's production capabilities and work with the firm's roster of talent across multiple platforms. "They're really great at spotting and discovering talent," he says. "Converge gives us a lot of opportunities to expand the business and have a footprint on the East Coast."
Dorfman noted in a statement that through its series of acquisitions "Zealot becomes an undeniable one-stop source for any company in need of talent, strategic planning, content creation, production and distribution."
Zealot is backed by U.K. broadcaster ITV.