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.
Seibert began his media career in college radio at Columbia University's WKCR-FM in 1969. While at Columbia he started his first company, Oblivion Records with partner Tom Pomposello, releasing LP's by Mississippi Fred McDowell and Joe Lee Wilson. He was an early employee of New Music Distribution Services, a non-profit distributor of musician owned record company started by composers Carla Bley and Michael Mantler, before going on the road with Bley's big band as sound engineer and road manager. A late 1970s stint with media promotion innovator Dale Pon at New York's WHN radio, Seibert began his work at MTV Networks in 1980.
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.
From 1992 until 1996, as the last president of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon studio, Seibert was able to reinvigorate the company's creative reputation with the establishment of the animation incubator What A Cartoon!. Modeled on the Golden Age of mid-20th century cartoons, the 48 short films from creators around the world, Hanna-Barbera was able to launch seven hit series after a dry spell since the launch of the Smurfs in 1983 for NBC. The shows included Genndy Tartakovsky's Dexter's Laboratory, David Feiss' Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel, Van Partible's Johnny Bravo, John R. Dilworth's Courage the Cowardly Dog, and Craig McCraken's The Powerpuff Girls.
Frederator has established itself as a major American independent with 10 series on Nickelodeon (like Butch Hartman's The Fairly OddParents), Cartoon Network (Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time), and Cartoon Hangover (Pendleton Ward's Bravest Warriors). They have also innovated into the internet with Channel Frederator, Cartoon Hangover, and Next New Networks.
Internet and video
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.
In 2004 David Karp interned at Frederator Studios at its first New York City location, and built their first blogging platform. In 2007 he launched Tumblr from a rented desk at Frederator Studios' Park Avenue South offices, with chief engineer Marco Arment. Seibert was one of Tumblr's first bloggers.
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.
- 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
- What A Cartoon? Ask.com
- 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
- Archive.org March 31, 2006
- Karp, David; Alexandria, Julie (May 27, 2008). David Karp and Tumblr (Video). Wallstrip. Event occurs at 1:30. Retrieved February 24, 2013. "Sometime in 2006, we had a couple of weeks between contracts and said 'Let's see what we can do, let's see if we can built this thing', and we threw together the first working version of Tumblr."
- ""Tumblr: David Karp's $800 Million Art Project" Forbes, January 2, 2013". Forbes.com. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
- 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
- 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)