ManiaTV resurrected

Founder buys back shuttered Web venture

ManiaTV, a shuttered online network featuring original video programming, is back in business thanks to its founder.

Former ManiaTV CEO Drew Massey has bought back the venture for an undisclosed sum. To help reinvigorate the operation, he is bringing in former NBC chief Warren Littlefield and Canoe Ventures CEO David Verklin as members of the company's board.

Launched in 2004, ManiaTV shut down in February after attracting $26 million in venture capital investment. The series created online series for the likes of Tom Green and Dave Navarro.

Massey is pledging to return to ManiaTV's formula of blending live, celebrity-fronted programming with branded entertainment. But this time, he is bankrolling the venture himself and bringing in other investors without utilizing venture capital.

"VCs don't understand entertainment," said Massey, who indicated he is already negotiating with talent agencies WME and ICM to bring in celebrities in hopes of reintroducing programming in the fall.

"It's a tough market right now but as an entrepreneur I know that can be the best time to be in business," Massey said.