Larry Shapiro, who headed talent management at Fullscreen since joining the company in April 2013, has left to join Big Frame.
Shapiro is now Big Frame’s co-president, tasked with leading the management team with Sarah Penna, who is co-president and CCO at the digital media firm.
A source says Shapiro’s departure from Fullscreen was not a surprise and he was being “managed out” due to changes that were taking place strategically within the network, where executive visions weren’t fully aligned. Those changes do not have anything to do with Otter Media’s plans to acquire the MCN, according to the source, as that acquisition deal was announced only 2 weeks ago and has not even been finalized yet.
Shapiro’s replacement will likely come from outside of the company.
Two other talent managers have left with Shaprio to join Big Frame, a subsidiary of AwesomenessTV: Andrew Graham and Rana Zand. Fullscreen does not expect any more departures, and they still have 5 “360-degree” talent management staffers and nearly 30 talent development and services employees.
Fullscreen operates 2 different tracks of web-creator partnerships: channel management, which, like the role of other MCNs, entails bringing brand integrations and advertising opps to those partner networks. The other track is “360-degree” talent management, which means working with the creator on multi-platform revenue opportunities such as licensing, content creation, and events — such as a deal made with vlogger Jenn McAllister, whose channel is part of AwesomenessTV.
Fullscreen’s channel-management contracts remain in place. The individual talent contracts vary, however, and it has yet to be determined whether any creators will soon follow Shapiro et al. to Big Frame, or remain with the rest of Fullscreen’s talent management team.
Graham, for instance, represented Our2ndlife, which started as a collaborative channel between 5 young lads who can sing and perform but also regularly update the channel with personal vlogs and sketches. With more than 2.5 million subs, the channel is still part of the Fullscreen network. However, Graham also managed individuals within the O2L team, including Conner Fanta, who left the group earlier this year. Each member of the “supergroup” has different deals in place – for example, Sam Pottorff and Trevor Moran do not have management with Fullscreen, but they are channel-managed by Fullscreen.
At Fullscreen, the departures are an opportunity to define a new plan for the company’s talent management business, especially as Otter Media brings its expertise to the table. The company will also continue to focus on broadening their live events business, such as InTour.