|Born||Frederick Seibert |
September 15, 1951
Manhattan, New York City, New York, US
|Occupation||Television producer, media entrepreneur|
Frederick "Fred" Seibert (born September 15, 1951) is an American television and film producer and media entrepreneur. He owns Frederator Studios. Seibert has held leading positions with MTV Networks, Hanna-Barbera, and Next New Networks and has worked in media innovation for 30 years. He has directed programs on cable television, animation, and the internet.
 Early life
Seibert was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York, and was raised in Halesite, New York. He initially studied at Columbia University's College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (1969–71) then minored in History at Columbia College, Columbia University (1971–73).
 Cable television
Seibert was MTV's first creative director and guided its original voice and visual identity, creating hundreds of promotions, advertisements, and station IDs for the channel, and responsible for a rethinking of how television channels promoted themselves as "brands." He also commissioned and approved the mutating MTV logo, despite network executives objections to a logo that did not remain constant. He led the team that developed "I Want My MTV!", one of the most famous advertising campaigns of the late 20th century.
In 1985, with partner Alan Goodman at Fred/Alan Inc., Seibert successfully overhauled the then-floundering children's cable channel Nickelodeon, moving it from worst to first in the ratings in six months; and conceived and executed the Nick-at-Nite concept. As a television branding company, Fred/Alan has worked closely with Showtime, The Movie Channel, VH1, Lifetime, TV Heaven 41, Playboy, and Comedy Central.
 Animation and cartoons
Seibert became president of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc., in 1992, and turned around the struggling animation studio by revamping its production and development process. He created Cartoon Network's What a Cartoon!, a showcase for new animated shorts which spun off several series including Cow and Chicken, Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, The Powerpuff Girls, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. He remained at Hanna-Barbera until 1996, when H-B's parent company, Turner Broadcasting, merged with Time Warner.
Seibert founded animation production company Frederator Studios in 1997. Frederator currently has a first look production deal with the Nickelodeon stations, and its productions include The Fairly OddParents, ChalkZone, My Life as a Teenage Robot, Nicktoons Film Festival, Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Random! Cartoons, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, and Ape Escape. In 2009 he launched Frederator's (and Nickelodeon's) first original television CG comedy, Fanboy and Chum Chum to record ratings. In early 2010, he produced his company's first show for Cartoon Network: Adventure Time - the network's highest rated comedy premiere to date.
 Internet and video
In addition to his Frederator duties, Seibert returned to MTV Networks in 1999, and was president of MTV Networks Online, president of the MTVi Group, and president of Nickelodeon Online. After the dot-com bubble burst, he returned to Frederator full-time in 2001.
In November 2005 Seibert launched his innovative online network, the world's first cartoon video podcast, which he calls Channel Frederator. Filmmakers submit animated films for weekly exhibition. In quick succession was 'The Wubbcast' for pre-schoolers (with Bolder Media, in January 2006) and 'ReFrederator' with vintage cartoons (April 2006).
Building on this new media success, in 2007 Seibert conceived and founded Next New Networks (with Emil Rensing, Herb Scannell, Tim Shey, and Jed Simmons), the leading online television company, with over 2 billion all time video views and over 200 million views every month (as of 2010). Along with their affiliated Indy Mogul, Barely Political, Channel Frederator and several other networks, the company's superdistribution has allowed it to become among the most widely-distributed video in the world, and to become YouTube's top professional content provider. By the end of 2010, Next New Networks had the globe's top two videos viewed on YouTube. In March 2011, Next New Networks was acquired by YouTube.
 Feature films
In June 2007, Fred Seibert (alongside Racer Max Warner of Newgrounds.com) founded Frederator Films (now known as Ventrilocompany-Frederator Films Video) to produce animated feature films. They are currently in pre-production on Genndy Tartakovsky's Samurai Jack with co-producer J. J. Abrams and have set up their first two animated features in a first look production arrangement for Sony Pictures Animation.
 Early Career
Seibert began his media career at Columbia University's WKCR-FM in 1969 as a board engineer and producer/host of world music, jazz and pop shows. He recorded the majority of the station's live jazz broadcasts which led to the formation of his independent blues and jazz label. Roots musician and producer Tom Pomposello and Seibert formed Oblivion Records in 1972 (with third partner Dick Pennington), producing releases by blues musicians Mississippi Fred McDowell (Live in New York), Johnny Woods, and Charles Walker (Blues from the Apple); and jazz musicians Joe Lee Wilson and Marc Cohen (now known as Marc Copland). He was a producer (and/or engineer) of over 30 jazz records (for independent labels like Muse Records and the Jazz Composer's Orchestra) between 1971 and 1978 by artists as diverse as Hank Jones, Johnny Woods, Cecil Taylor, Linc Chamberland, Jaki Byard, Gunter Hampel, Dom Salvador and Willis Jackson.
In 1977 and 1978 he was the road manager and sound engineer for tours with pianist/composer Carla Bley, before joining the innovative media executive Dale Pon at New York's WHN radio. Pon introduced Seibert to his WNBC Radio colleague Robert Pittman as Pittman was becoming an early cable television pioneer at the Warner Amex Satellite Company WASEC (now named MTV Networks); Seibert became the first creative director for the channel.
 See also
- Seibert, Fred. "I've Lived FIVE Lives (So Far), Frederator.com.
- Grillo, Jean. New Network Look: Hairy, Fat Cablevision, Scribd.com, 7 June 1982.
- Strike, Joe. The Fred Seibert Interview, Animation World Network, 15 July 2003.
- Bolger, Tom. "I Want My NNN!", Gotham Magazine, February 2008.
- "MTV Logo Story", FrankOlinsky.com
- Seibert, Fred. "MTV: Music Television, The Logo", FredSeibert.com
- "I Want My MTV!" at FredSeibert.com
- "From Worst to First", Fred/Alan
- "The First Oldies Television Network", Fred/Alan
- Stone, Brad. "Internet Start-Up to Take a Hybrid Media Approach", The New York Times, 8 March 2007.
- Shannon Miller, Liz. "Next New Networks Nears 1B Views, Profitability", GigaOM.com.
- "That Was The Year That Was", Frederator Blogs, 31 December 2010.
- "Supercharging the “Next” phase in YouTube partner development", The Official YouTube Blog, 7 March 2011.
- "Google's YouTube Buys Next New Networks", LA Times blogs, LATimes.com, March 2011.
- "Here Comes YouTube Next", Next New Networks, YouTube.com
- McNary, Dave. Toon trio starts Frederator, Variety, 25 June 2007.
- Mclean, Thomas J. Seibert, Sony Team for Toon Features, Animation Magazine, 11 September 2009.
- Official website
- Frederator Studios
- Channel Frederator
- Next New Networks
- Fred Seibert at the Internet Movie Database
- Animation World News interview (2003)
- Essay by Steven Heller at AIGA.org (American Institute of Graphic Arts) (PDF)
- The MTV Logo