An entertainment industry veteran with over 45 years professional experience in cable television, live events and new media, Larry Namer is a founding partner of Metan Development Group (Metan), a venture created to develop entertainment and media specifically for the Chinese marketplace. An accomplished entrepreneur, Mr. Namer is the co-founder of E! Entertainment Television, a company now valued at over $3.5 billion USD, and the creator of several successful companies in the United States and overseas. He was also instrumental in discovering and launching the careers of Greg Kinnear, Julie Moran and Katie Wagner, the main on air personalities of E! in its early years.
Among those companies are Comspan Communications that pioneered Western forms of entertainment in the former Soviet Union, including the syndication of the popular soap opera Santa Barbara, which ran for 10 years in the region, and Steeplechase Media that served as the primary consultant to Microsoft’s MiTV for developing interactive TV applications. Steeplechase was also involved in the early development of ITV programming, creating interactive episodes of Baywatch, Pacific Blue and over 250 episodes of Judge Judy. Mr. Namer was also the Primary Strategic Consultant to The Documentary Channel.
A cable industry pioneer, Mr. Namer began his career in 1971 at Time Incorporated Manhattan Cable, and served as Vice President and General Manager of Valley Cable Television (VCTV) in Los Angeles, the nation’s first 61-channel two-way cable system. His vision and direction garnered VCTV several Emmy and Cable ACE award nominations, as well as recognition by Forbes magazine as the national model for local cable television programming. In 1989, he was awarded the prestigious President’s Award from the National Cable Television Association.
In recent years, Mr. Namer has become recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on new technology and how it is fundamentally altering the business of international media and entertainment. Among the companies that have enlisted his expertise are Microsoft, Paul Allen’s Digeo, World Digital Media Group (a joint venture of Radio Shack), EchoStar and Sirius Radio network.
Mr. Namer’s latest venture, Metan Development Group (Metan) was created to develop and distribute entertainment content and media specifically for Chinese speaking audiences in China and abroad. Namer’s partners on this venture are entertainment industry veteran Martin Pompadur and Amerilink founder Jean Zhang.
Metan’s most notable projects include Hello! Hollywood!, a weekly entertainment news series tailored to Chinese audiences, offering up the latest in celebrity and lifestyle news, and covering the most glamorous red carpet events and award shows. Since its launch in summer 2009, the series is now available on over 40 television stations reaching more than 250 million households throughout China. Metan also launched the series’ premier content on 10 of China’s top online portals in 2010, adding 360 million Chinese netizens to its program reach.
In February, 2011 Metan teamed up with Tencent, owner of China’s largest Internet service portal QQ.com, to create special entertainment news coverage direct from Hollywood surrounding The 83 Annual Academy Awards, tailored specifically to Mandarin-speaking audiences. This first ever viewing event was watched by an impressive audience of 3.2 million Mandarin-speaking viewers in China.
Recently, Metan joined forces with global nonprofit WildAid to distribute a special series of celebrity PSAs designed to raise awareness to reduce the demand for threatened and endangered species products and to increase public support for wildlife conservation worldwide.
Metan is adapting several formats of popular Western TV shows for localized versions, as well as developing the original sitcom Return to Da Foo Tsun, daily health and wellness series Everyday Lohas (Life of Health and Sustainability) and feature film titled Moon Flower of the Flying Tigers.
Additionally, he also serves as Senior Advisor, Strategic Development to Eurocinema On Demand, the only 24/7 on demand foreign film channel now available in 36 million homes via cable and satellite in North America.