Former Sundance Channel leader Larry Aidem has been named president and CEO of RayV, an Internet distributor of TV and events.
Aidem, who had been serving as president of Rainbow Ventures after Sundance was sold to the Cablevision-owned programmer Rainbow Media Holding in June 2008, began advising the Los Angeles-headquartered RayV, which says it was the first TV delivery network over Internet protocol, early this year. RayV proffers turnkey solutions for TV broadcasters, content owners, as well as cable and satellite providers.
Additionally, RayV Productions specializes in low-cost, hi-definition production of unscripted content. Among the content providers and distributors RayV has collaborated and provided infrastructure to broadcast over IP: the NBA, Blizzard, DirecTV, Fox Soccer Channel, Shanghai Media Group and AB Groupe.
Based in New York, Aidem began his new gig on Sept. 1.
"RayV has enjoyed tremendous growth since its founding in 2006. Nevertheless, we have reached the appropriate moment to appoint a chief executive to work collaboratively with RayV's senior management team and board to develop and implement a game-plan that takes us to the next level," said founder and executive chairman Ron Zuckerman in announcing Aidem's hire. "A big part of RayV's core is its proprietary technology. Nevertheless, we have a deep appreciation for quality content, and it was extremely important to me and my fellow board members that we attract an individual with both a significant track record of success and extensive ties to and credibility within, the world of traditional media & entertainment. In Larry Aidem, we believe we have hit the proverbial jackpot."
Aidem, who had been advising a short list of digital companies at Rainbow Ventures, was introduced to Zuckerman by then-Goldman Sachs media banker Joe Ravitch, in January.
"The opportunity to advise RayV for the past eight months has enabled me to gain a deep knowledge of and appreciation for the business, the gifted management team and our illustrious, forward-thinking backers," Aidem said in a statement. "On the heels of my experience at Sundance Channel, where I was extremely fortunate to work for some incredibly talented and decent people, including Robert Redford and the leadership of NBC Universal and CBS, my No. 1 considerations were ‘culture and fit.' At RayV, beyond hitting the ground running, I feel quite privileged to be surrounded by such a phenomenally talented group of people."
Rainbow Media closed its $496 million purchase from the cofounder of the 30 million-subscriber network, Robert Redford, NBC Universal and CBS Corp.'s Showtime Networks unit on June 17, 2008, and promoted Evan Shapiro to president, IFC and Sundance Channel.
At that time, Aidem, who was Sundance's CEO, was tapped as president of Rainbow Ventures, a position that had him reporting directly to Rainbow Media president and CEO Josh Sapan, as he identified strategic business opportunities and help with Sundance's transition into Rainbow.
"Larry Aidem has demonstrated a consistent ability to articulate a vision that resonates from both a creative and business standpoint," said Sapan in a statement. We are grateful for the lasting contributions he made to Sundance Channel and, more recently, to Rainbow Media."
RayV investors include: Israeli private holding and investment firm, Ofer Group; former Lotus chairman and CEO Jim Manzi; Be Free and Gather.com founder Tom Gerace; Cheng Wu, founder of Arrowpoint & Acopia; Accrue Sports & Entertainment Ventures; and Accel Partners.