EXCLUSIVE: Nick and Jon Hamm’s Free Turn Entertainment has appointed streaming industry veteran Ron Downey as its Chairman.
Downey, the co-founder of streaming technology provider Massive Interactive, joins soon after Free Turn completed a round of investment that’s already allowed it to scale its TV and film development plans and add The Story Lab’s Robbie Ashcroft and Emma Lamont to its ranks.
Free Turn expects Downey to give it experience in fundraising, entertainment technology and distribution, plus know-how in growing businesses.
Downey sold Massive Interactive to Deltatre for $127M in 2018. He had co-founded the business in Sydney, Australia 23 years before and built it into a digital development agency that created content and software technology for brands such as AT&T, DAZN, WWE, Sony, Bell Media and all of the UK’s terrestrial networks.
“I’m here to help build a powerhouse of creativity with the Free Turn team and to create some beautiful work along the way,” he said. “Free Turn is a premium IP and content-rich business with the capability and leadership to translate this across formats, so when this opportunity came about, I jumped at it.
“The team is a brilliant mix of experienced leaders and innovative thinkers who all truly love what they do. The development and production roster for 2023 is rich and diverse in both theme and format, and I’m confident that we have some great stories in the making.”
Jon Hamm, CEO of Free Turn, added: “Ron has a rebellious spirit that works perfectly for the culture at Free Turn. He supports us in taking risks, challenging financial models and pushing new creative ideas. He has come into the company with a single minded belief in developing and owning IP and maximising the commercial potential of it across as many platforms as possible. With Ron’s support we have solidified our plans for IP development and have put in place an exciting strategy for the next 18 months”
The Hamm brothers and ex-WPP exec Gemma Batterby set up Free Turn in 2020 and has focused on cross platform entertainment that maximizes creative and commercial potential. Deadline understands it has several high-profile projects in development in TV and film, for the likes of Audible, Amazon and ITV Studios in the UK and U.S.
In 2022, the company launch Nick Hamm’s Gigi and Nate, which starred Oscar Winner Marcia Gay Harden.