New York, NY, April 10, 2013 – Ora.TV, the new studio/on-demand digital network backed by Carlos Slim, has acquired New York-based Stick Figure Productions, a leading producer of documentary and unscripted television production. Stick Figure was founded by Steven Cantor and Daniel Laikind, who will both continue to lead the group under the Ora umbrella. Stick Figure Productions is represented by WME.
Ora has shown tremendous growth since the beginning of the year, garnering tens of millions of video views. It was launched last summer with legendary broadcaster Larry King’s new talk show, Larry King Now, which has recently featured Melissa McCarthy, Ryan Seacrest, Jessica Alba, Kevin Bacon, Joel McHale, and the casts of Duck Dynasty and The Walking Dead, and can be seen on www.Ora.TV as well as on Hulu. That show is joined by a growing slate of quality programming including Newsbreaker with David Begnaud and Daily Rehash, both available on Ora.TV. The Stick Figure deal marks the first acquisition for Ora under CEO Jon Housman.
“This acquisition is a big step in our efforts to expand the scope of our content offerings and to bring into Ora some of the industry’s most talented and innovative producers,” Housman said of the acquisition today. "Stick Figure is unique for its ability to create high-end, award winning films, while simultaneously developing and producing commercial reality and digital series. Their track record and sensibility is a perfect fit for the franchise we are setting out to build."
Of the acquisition, Stick Figure Co-Founder Steven Cantor said, "We have been looking for the right partner for a while now, and Ora seems ideal in every respect. Jon Housman has an impressive track record and now, under his stewardship, we will be able to expand our development capabilities for both linear and digital projects and plan to expand further into both the fiction and branded spaces."
Since its inception in 1997, Stick Figure www.stickfigureproductions.com has garnered nine Emmy nominations for their films which include Devil's Playground, Reporter, No One Dies in Lily Dale, and Unraveled. They have also produced over 250 hours of television for over 40 networks, including American Gypsies and Amish: Out of Order (Nat Geo), Family Bonds (HBO), Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane (Style), Amish in the City (UPN), Repossessed (Nat Geo), #1 Single (E!), and the hit digital series The Biz, produced with Lyor Cohen for Warner Music and AOL.
Cantor, an Academy Award nominee, is well-regarded as a director in both long-form - loudQUIETloud: a film about Pixies, HBO's What Remains, and Willie Nelson: Still is Still Moving for PBS American Masters as well as commercial projects for such clients as NFL, NBA, Porsche, Dasani and IBM.
Stick Figure co-founder, Daniel Laikind added, "Ora's role as a production partner, marketing partner, and distribution outlet will allow us to continue to develop our own projects and work with producers, networks, international companies and brands in unprecedented ways."
The new venture, Stick Figure Studios, will be expanding their development and production teams and increasing their slate of projects for 2013 and 2014. Ora.TV will utilize Stick Figure’s production studios in NYC, adding to their facilities in LA. The company has a number of new series and films currently in development for networks including HBO, A&E, ESPN, GMC, The Weather Channel, Lifetime and The National Geographic Channel.
Ora TV is a television production studio and on-demand digital network, creating high-production level programming for both traditional and digital distribution via a variety of platforms. Ora (which means “now” in Italian) launched in July 2012 with the show Larry King Now, available on Hulu and Ora.tv, and several additional / new shows are currently in production and/or development. The network is funded by América Móvil, the leading Latin American wireless service provider, with a majority interest held by noted global business leader Carlos Slim Helú.
Media Contact: Adam Schiff, DKC 212-981-5216 Adam_Schiff@dkcnews.com