NEW YORK, March 7, 2012 – LXTV co-founders Joseph Varet and Morgan Hertzan today announced an agreement to purchase Plum TV, a lifestyle network reaching over 5 million of the most affluent viewers in the country across eight markets. The purchase of Plum, founded in 2004, follows a bankruptcy auction in the Southern District of New York. Hertzan and Varet will serve as co-presidents with Hertzan based in New York and Varet based in Los Angeles.
The new ownership group will continue the network’s programming focus on home, travel, food, and wellness. Plum TV will operate as a national network, expanding distribution across the country via digital, television and out-of-home media.
Plum TV is currently distributed on cable television systems in Miami, Aspen, Vail, Telluride, the Hamptons, Sun Valley, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, at PlumTV.com, and on Plum TV’s video on demand iPhone app.
“We’re thrilled to get started on our next venture,” Hertzan said. “Plum offers a great opportunity to build an international lifestyle multi-media business and will provide platforms where advertisers can reach the most desirable demographic in an environment that reflects the quality and excellence of their brands. We have many exciting programming plans for Plum which we will announce in the coming weeks and months.”
“We plan to rapidly grow Plum TV’s distribution via digital, television, and out-of-home media,” said Varet, “and expand Plum TV as a national lifestyle network while retaining its resort community programming and DNA. Our vision is to bring the compelling resort lifestyle of Plum TV’s existing local programming to a national and international audience.”
“We are excited to be in business with Joseph and Morgan,” said Tom Scott, Plum’s Founder and Chairman. “We love their passion and experience, and we believe in their vision for Plum. This journey has been both exhilarating and trying. I’ve been lucky to have worked with some incredible people. At the same time, I look forward to the great future of Plum with Joseph and Morgan.”
Creative Artists Agency (CAA) advised Hertzan and Varet on the transaction and will provide advisory services to Plum TV going forward.
The acquirers were represented by the multi-national law firm Paul Hastings LLP.
Morgan Hertzan and Joseph Varet, former MTV executives, co-founded LXTV, which produces and distributes lifestyle entertainment television, online video and out-of-home programming, in 2006. LXTV was acquired in January 2008 by the NBC-owned TV stations division of NBCUniversal.
Hertzan and Varet have extensive experience creating dynamic, high quality programming, and launching and managing video programming businesses. At MTV, Hertzan conceived, launched and managed mtvU, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive television network focused on college students and developed, with Varet, the online video network MTV Iggy.
Following the sale of LXTV to NBCUniversal, Hertzan joined NBCU as a Senior Vice President and General Manager of LXTV. At NBCU he was responsible for the development of innovative programming and distribution models, including the placement of LXTV programming in “out of home” media, such as New York City taxi cabs. His original programming for LXTV includes “Open House,” which is syndicated throughout the United States and distributed internationally.
Varet managed business development and strategic planning for new television and online video networks at MTV, including the development of online video network VBS.tv. He also initiated and helped create the MTV Games videogame publishing business. Prior to MTV, Varet was Chief Executive Officer of the Groove Alliance, a publisher of branded online videogames.