Hollywood Law Hires: Fullscreen Expands Legal Team, A+E Senior Counsel Exits

Hires and other moves in the entertainment law sector, including a boutique's acquisition by a powerhouse firm.
Courtesy of Fullscreen
Fullscreen's George Strompolos

Fullscreen, the YouTube network bought in September by Peter Chernin and AT&T, has expanded its legal team.

The media company has hired Rozanna Tesler Fried as vp business and legal affairs and Suchir Batra as director of business and legal affairs. They'll report to Fullscreen’s general counsel and svp business and legal affairs David Ho.

Read more What's Behind Peter Chernin's Acquisition of YouTube Network Fullscreen

Fried previously served as vp business and legal affairs for Constantin Film and senior counsel at Twentieth Century Fox, while Batra — a former WME agent — comes to Fullscreen after four years as a member of Greenberg Traurig's entertainment practice.

Their hires come on the heels of fast growth for Fullscreen, which sold a majority stake to Chernin and AT&T's joint venture Otter Media in a deal said to be valued between $200 million and $300 million. Led by founder and CEO George Strompolos, the network has broadened its business with a partnership with India's Qyuki and the acquisition of video producer Rooster Teeth, and its executive ranks have grown with the hiring of chief creative officer Michael Goldfine.

"Rozanna and Suchir both have rich entertainment experience that enhances Fullscreen’s legal footprint across major areas of growth," Strompolos said in a statement. "Their expertise will play an essential role for our expansion into original content development and entertainment programming with industry partners and today’s most influential creators."

Other recent entertainment law hires...

  • Doug Jacobs, evp and senior counsel at A+E, has exited the cable company to join the entertainment boutique firm Cowan DeBaets Abrahams and Sheppard. He'll serve as a partner in the firm's New York office. According to the firm, his practice will focus on the cable TV industry and digital media. "Doug is ideally positioned to counsel clients on the major issues now roiling the industry — including over-the-top content distribution, system consolidation and international expansion," said Cowan DeBaets partner Stephen Sheppard in a statement. Jacobs previously served as evp and general counsel at Court TV (now TruTV) and vp and deputy general counsel at CBS in addition to his eight years with A+E.
    For its part, A+E celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014. The cable company — which carries series including Dance Moms, Duck Dynasty and Bates Motel on its networks — is set for a power transfer when chairman Abbe Raven retires in February.
  • The entertainment boutique Wyman & Isaacs has joined powerhouse firm Davis Wright Tremaine's entertainment and media practice. Bruce Isaacs and Bob Wyman, who co-founded Wyman & Isaacs in 1988, will join DWT's Los Angeles office as partners, and Wyman & Isaacs' Cheryl Nelson will join as of counsel. The attorneys have handled deals, production legal work and litigation for companies and individuals, with past clients including the Wachowskis in a Matrix copyright battle, the creators of Call of Duty in a settled royalties case and CBS TV Distribution in a settled licensing case. 
  • Blank Rome has increased its Los Angeles presence with two entertainment attorneys. The firm has hired Jonathan Loeb as partner and and Jeffrey Rosenfeld as of counsel in its corporate litigation group — both from Bingham McCutchen, where Loeb served as chair of the entertainment, media and communications group. "Their combined litigation experience within the entertainment, real estate and healthcare spaces is a perfect complement to the innovative work we’re doing in the region," said Blank Rome chairman and managing partner Alan J. Hoffman in a statement. The hires follow the firm's aggressive expansion of its West Coast footprint in January 2014.

Email: Austin.Siegemund-Broka@THR.com
Twitter: @Asiegemundbroka