This year is shaping up to be the year of C-level resignations from the first class of multi-channel networks. First with AwesomenessTV founder and CEO Brian Robbins and now DEFY Media’s Chief Content Officer Barry Blumberg (pictured) has announced to staff that he will be departing the company. Blumberg, who will now have a first-look production relationship with DEFY, was instrumental in building SMOSH, the digital comedy brand built by YouTubers Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, into a multi-platform business. SMOSH is still a flagship property for the company today.
DEFY President, Keith Richman said, “Barry has been a digital media visionary for over a decade, beginning with the founding of SMOSH. At Defy, Barry’s programming acumen was a driving force in turning the company into a leading producer of content for millennials and in helping build up our core brands into the meaningful entities that they are today. Equally as important, Barry built and led a team comprised of the most talented and hard-working creators, producers and programmers in digital media. We wish him well as he embarks on this next chapter.”
DEFY Media, which was formed as a result of the merger Alloy Digital and Break Media*, had struggled to raise capital over the last couple years before raising $70 million last Fall.
Blumberg’s letter to the company:
Dearest Colleagues and Friends,
The time has come for me to move on from DEFY Media as your full time Chief Content Officer. Going forward, my service to the company will be as an advisor and producer and not as a day-to-day employee. DEFY is an amazing place today and our brands are well positioned for success in the evolving marketplace. I marvel at how far we have come with all of them in just a few short years, and am truly proud of the multi-platform entities that Smosh, Screen Junkies, Clevver, and AweMe have recently become.
I think back on how this adventure began for me watching Ian and Anthony lip-syncing on a nascent Youtube in 2006. It has turned into something beyond anything that I could have conceived back then. We produced movies, TV shows, live shows, OTT shows and won many awards and accolades for our content in the process. This speaks more to all of your talent than to anything that I have done myself. I was merely a conductor of our chaotic but beautiful orchestra.
I look forward to working with all of you one way or another down the road and will always be available to you for whatever you may need. I will continue to offer input to the company and will hopefully develop projects in my role as a producer that we can work on together.
Most sincerely yours,
*[UPDATE: An earlier version of this story noted the historical timeline of mergers that happened leading up to the formation of DEFY Media including the merger between Digital Broadcasting Group and Alloy Digital. DBG’s acquisition pre-dated the Alloy / Break merger that resulted in DEFY Media’s creation.