Fullscreen President Ezra Cooperstein Jumps to Rooster Teeth (Exclusive)
Cooperstein will stay in the family in his move to become president of Rooster Teeth, which Fullscreen acquired in 2014.
In the more than three years since Fullscreen acquired Rooster Teeth, president Ezra Cooperstein become a regular fixture in the production company's Austin headquarters. Now he's formalizing his relationship with Rooster Teeth by taking on the full-time role of president at the company.
In his new role, he oversees all business operations, including merchandise, events, licensing, sales and business development. Co-founders Matt Hullum and Burnie Burns are continuing to oversee creative and production for the business as CEO and chief creative officer, respectively. Cooperstein has moved to Austin and started in the new role at the beginning of January.
"This company is getting more right than practically any digital media company," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "We've found the model that will work in this time of transformation. We've built this incredible community that is the foundation of our business."
At Fullscreen, COO Andy Forssell will take over most of Cooperstein's duties. The company does not plan to replace Cooperstein in the role.
Cooperstein joined Fullscreen in 2011 when the business was still in its infancy. Together with CEO George Strompolos, they build a multi-channel network of tens of thousands of creators that they ultimately sold to Otter, the joint venture of the Chernin Group and AT&T. Prior to joining Fullscreen in 2011, Cooperstein spent two years at Maker Studios. The THR Next Gen alumnus also held roles at Initiative and Current TV.
Not long after Fullscreen's sale to Otter, the company purchased Rooster Teeth. At the time, it was a 70-person outfit in Austin creating genre web series like Red vs. Blue and RWBY. Under Fullscreen, Rooster Teeth has grown into a 350-person company that produces the Lazer Team film franchise for YouTube Red, hosts an annual event, RTX, and has 250,000 paying subscribers to its online community. All told, Rooster Teeth gets 5 million monthly unique viewers and has 45 million YouTube subscribers.
Cooperstein had been managing the Rooster Teeth business for Fullscreen and was already traveling to Austin once a week to meet with the staff. "My personal passion for this business has grown," he says, explaining the move. He says it wasn't intentional that his move has corresponded with Otter's decision to acquire the outstanding shares of Fullscreen.
His appointment comes as much of the digital media industry braces for a slowdown in advertising in 2018 as competition, dominated by Google and Facebook, heats up. But Cooperstein notes that Rooster Teeth makes money from events, merchandising and its online community — in addition to advertising. "We've built a business that's highly diversified," he says. "We don't rely on Facebook and YouTube for distribution. We have our own platform."