|This article reads like a news release, or is otherwise written in an overly promotional tone. (August 2012)|
Official Company Logo
|Founded||Los Angeles, California, USA (2008)|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, CA, USA|
|Key people||Miles Beckett, CEO/Founder
Greg Goodfried, President/Founder
Paras Maniar, CSO and EVP, Corporate Development
Robert Weiss[disambiguation needed], Chief Operating Officer
|Products||Celebrity Influencer Networks
Website Hosting Software (Umbrella)
EQAL is a media and technology company founded in 2008 by Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried, two of the creators of lonelygirl15. EQAL builds influencer networks around celebrities, consumer brands, and intellectual properties. Prior to building influencer networks, EQAL produced lonelygirl15 (LG15) as well as for producing other series in the LG15 Universe (the universe using the mythology started by the lonelygirl15 series) including KateModern in association with Bebo and LG15: The Resistance, as well as Harper’s Globe, the original web series, commissioned by CBS as a tie-in for the series, Harper’s Island. The company builds custom social media networks and online solutions around the websites for a variety of celebrities, including Lauren Conrad, Jennifer Lopez, Bethenny Frankel, JWOWW, Tori Spelling, Ty Pennington, Chelsea Kane and others.
In 2006, Miles Beckett met Mesh Flinders, a screenwriter, at a birthday party. Beckett had the idea to use short internet videos to tell a story. Flinders had developed a character that he thought would be perfect for the project. Together the two of them contacted Greg Goodfried for legal advice, and the three of them subsequently created lonelygirl15. The group became formally known as LG15 Studios/Telegraph Ave. Productions.
While Mesh Flinders went on to pursue other endeavors at the end of 2007, in April 2008, Beckett and Goodfried announced the formation of EQAL. The new company raised $5 million in venture capital. Among EQAL’s initial investors were Spark Capital, Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape, Conrad Riggs, formerly with Mark Burnett productions, tech investor Ron Conway, and Georges Harik, former developer of new products at Google.
In May 2008, a partnership between EQAL and CBS was announced to create new original programming and online tie-ins for CBS network shows. A few months later, it was announced that EQAL would produce the Harper's Globe online companion show for CBS's Harper's Island. Through the CBS deal, EQAL met Anthony E. Zuiker, creator of CSI, and was hired by Zuiker to create the online component for Zuiker's first novel, Level 26, which was released in September 2009. The Zuiker partnership was the first in a series of similar media partnerships.
In 2009, EQAL launched two new original web series with dedicated social networks: Get Cookin for Food Network host Paula Deen and The Kind Life With Alicia Silverstone for Silverstone about global warming and vegetarian topics.
In 2010, EQAL launched The Real Women of Philadelphia with Digitas for Kraft Foods and Paula Deen which went on to garner a gold Effie award in 2011. (link: http://www.effie.org/downloads/2011_Winners_List_with_trophy.pdf) EQAL continued to launch celebrity sites including AlisonSweeney.com, Healthy Bitch Daily in association with Skinny Bitch and Made Just Right with Earth Balance.
In 2011, Robert Weiss joined EQAL, launching their Media Networks division to build social networks around celebrities and influencers. They have launched nearly 40 sites with another 10 expected this year. Sites include LaurenConrad.com, Bethenny.com, ElleandBlair.com, TyPennington.com, JWOWW.com, and many more. EQAL and its Media Networks recently won 6 Awards of Distinction from the International Academy of Visual Arts.
In October 2011, YouTube announced an initiative to fund the production of new channels containing original "premium" content. EQAL became one of the first partners in this program, launching a fashion-oriented channel known as u look haute on April 3, 2012.
Beckett holds a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.D. from the University of California at San Diego. He completed a one year internship in plastic surgery at the Loma Linda University Medical Center and conducted one year of tissue engineering research at the National Institute of Health as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar. During medical school he was the founder and editor-in-chief of “The Pulse” a UCSD Medical School newsletter and “The Inhuman Condition,” an underground comedy newsletter.
Prior to creating lonelygirl15, Beckett was the founder and CEO of Shoutboy, a comedy podcast and the writer and director of West Wingers a political spoof of White House press conferences. Beckett is also known for his art nouveau film The Great Cloister Caper, completed in 2001-2002 while he lived in Bethesda, Maryland.
Greg Goodfried is the President and Co-Founder of EQAL, and one of the three creators of lonelygirl15 along with Miles Beckett and Mesh Flinders. He is currently married to Amanda Goodfried and together they currently have one child, Jack Goodfried.
Prior to starting EQAL, Goodfried was a first year associate at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, LLP, where he worked as an entertainment attorney.
Paras is a founding executive of EQAL. He joined the company in June of 2008 as its Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategy. In December of 2009 he was voted by shareholders onto the company's Board of Directors. In January of 2011, Paras was appointed COO to help manage the fast growth of the company, building the employee base from 17 to over 70 employees and successfully relocating headquarters to its new home in North Hollywood. In May 2012, after recruiting sought-after media executive Robert Weiss to take over as Chief Operating Officer, Paras transitioned to the newly created role of Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Development. In this role Paras focuses on strategic planning, developing new monetization opportunities, and formalizing key business relationships necessary for EQAL's next phase of growth.
Prior to joining the company Paras was a consultant in the Los Angeles office of McKinsey & Company, a global consultancy that counsels a broad array of Fortune 500 companies. Aligned specifically with the Media & Entertainment and Telecom & High Tech practices, Paras built expertise in media & technology convergence issues such as mobile video, advanced online advertising, and digital distribution. Previous to McKinsey & Company Paras worked as a summer associate in the Corporate Department of Latham & Watkins and as a financial analyst with the High Tech Mergers & Acquisitions Group at JP Morgan Chase & Company. Paras completed his bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Economies of Industrial Societies from the University of California at Berkeley, during which time he also studied abroad at the Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary and the University of Vienna School of Business in Austria. Paras received a J.D. from Northwestern School of Law and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management.
Happily married with two lovely children, Paras' wife Payal keeps her husband's global entertainment knowledge fresh with regular screenings of Bollywood's best films.
Robert Weiss is the Chief Operating Officer of EQAL, overseeing all day-today creative and business aspects for EQAL’s portfolio of more than 40 media properties, that include its Celebrity Influencer Networks, Branded Entertainment Networks, and Owned & Operated Networks. Weiss also has oversight of EQAL Media Studios as well as the company’s business operations including human resources, research/analytics, business affairs, business development, marketing, publicity, media branding and social media strategy.
Prior to joining EQAL, Weiss was CEO of Parkwood Media Ventures. This next-generation media incubator identified, developed and helped launch a diverse portfolio of content-centric entertainment businesses that span television, gaming, the Internet and wireless/mobile. Parkwood Media Ventures also targeted distressed media assets for sale, roll-up or turnaround.
A native of Boston, Weiss received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
- LG15: The Resistance
- Harper’s Globe
- Get Cookin' With Paula Deen
- "Real Women of Philadelphia"
- "Walk With Walgreens"
- "Made Just Right"
- "The Clorox Lounge"
Celebrity Influencer Networks
- Alicia Silverstone's TheKindLife.com
- Bella Thorne
Other Original Content
- Umbrella 
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- Gannes, Liz (August 27, 2008). "lonelygirl15’s Second Incarnation: The Resistance". Newteevee.
- O'Malley, Gavin (March 19, 2009). "CBS Interactive, Eqal Launch Online Community". MediaPost News.
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- EQAL. "EQAL Wins Six Awards of Distinction from the International Academy of Visual Arts". Retrieved May 4, 2012.
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- "Virginia Heffernan, New York Times". New York Times. September 13, 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
- Hustvedt, Marc (July 30, 2009). "EQAL Sharing Secret Sauce, Launching ‘Umbrella’ Platform". Tubefilter News. Retrieved Sept. 21, 2009.