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Todd R. Wagner (born August 2, 1960) co-founded Broadcast.com and now co-owns 2929 Entertainment with Mark Cuban, along with other entertainment properties and has also founded the Todd Wagner Foundation.
Wagner was born in Gary, Indiana. He first attended Merrillville high school then attended Indiana University joining Kappa Sigma Fraternity Beta Theta Chapter. He later graduated in 1983. He earned a law degree from University of Virginia and then moved to Dallas, Texas where he became a licensed CPA in the State of Texas, and began a legal career with the national firms Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld and Hopkins & Sutter.
In 1995 he joined up with fellow Indiana alum Mark Cuban and the two successfully launched AudioNet, broadcasting live sporting events and radio stations over the Internet, at first with only a Packard Bell 486 PC and a single ISDN line. As CEO, Wagner grew the company and expanded its services to include corporate events and business services. In 1998 Wagner and Cuban changed the name to Broadcast.com and took the company public in the midst of the dot-com boom. The Broadcast.com IPO set an opening-day record, with shares climbing 249% from an offering price of $18 to a closing price of $62.75. In 1999, Wagner and Cuban sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion, making 300 employees millionaires (briefly, on paper) and Wagner and Cuban instant billionaires. Wagner continued to lead the division as Yahoo! Broadcast until May 2000, when he declined an offer to become Yahoo!’s Chief Operating Officer to focus on other interests.
The Todd Wagner Foundation
Wagner has his own charitable foundation, the Todd Wagner Foundation. After meeting with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wagner in 2001 launched his Foundation’s first children’s program, the Dallas chapter of the After-School All-Stars (then called Inner-City Games), a national program championed by Schwarzenegger that provides year-round technology, academic, sports and cultural programs for children in the nation's inner cities. The Dallas After-School All-Stars now reaches more than 4,000 children with programs ranging from chess and art classes to golf, running clubs and math competitions.
Wagner also created a Minority Technology Fund that provides funding and resources to minority-owned, technology-focused businesses based in Dallas and has made investments in numerous companies including: Imaginuity Interactive, a Web site development firm; Abstract Concepts, developer of African-American communities Ebonymate.com and Dallasblack.com; and rocKnot, a software development firm.
Wagner has also developed the MIRACLES technology, education and life skills program that provides an after-school program for inner-city children. This program is currently in its fifth year and is operating in nine cities in conjunction with the national After-School All-Stars. The multi-year program begins in sixth grade and continues through high-school graduation. The Foundation recently made a grant that unites the MIRACLES curriculum with The Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) technology program “Club Tech”.
The Foundation has also provided funding to bring KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) charter school to Dallas in 2003 and to Wagner's hometown of Gary, Indiana in 2006. KIPP Truth Academy is a program for students to develop knowledge, skills and character.
Wagner’s philanthropy has earned him several honors including the national First Star “Visionary Award” (2006), the Dallas CASA “Champion of Children” award (2005), the national “Kappa Sigma Man of the Year” award (2003), the Milton P. Levy Jr. Volunteer Award from Dallas' Special Care and Career Services (2008), an honor from the Urban League of Greater Dallas (2003), “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” from Dallas’ Center for Nonprofit Management (2002), and After-School All Stars’ “Man of the Year” (2000).
Using the success of Broadcast.com, Wagner built the Wagner/Cuban Companies including 2929 Productions. Two films the company helped produce received Oscar nominations: (Good Night, and Good Luck and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room). Other films include Akeelah and the Bee and The Road. Wagner is currently developing The Chosen Few, a film about the landmark Korean War battle. Good Night, directed by and co-starring George Clooney, was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture.
Other entertainment ventures
In addition to 2929 Entertainment, Wagner, with business partner Mark Cuban, also owns a group of vertically integrated entertainment properties that includes high-definition production company HDNet Films (produced the Academy Award–nominated documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room); distributor Magnolia Pictures (released Enron and Oscar-nominated Capturing the Friedmans); home video division Magnolia Home Entertainment; the Landmark Theatres art-house chain; and high-definition cable channels HDNet and HDNet Movies.
Wagner also has a stake in the Dallas Mavericks, and he continues to invest in and nurture start-ups. He holds interests in Lions Gate Entertainment, and The Weinstein Company. Additionally, he is founder and co-chairman of Content Partners LLC, a company that invests in the back-end profit participations of Hollywood talent.
Additionally Wagner serves on the American Film Institute’s Board of Trustees.
- Searching for Debra Winger (2002) - Executive Producer
- Star Search (2003/2004) Executive Producer
- Godsend (2004) - Executive Producer and Cameo
- The Benefactor (TV)(2004) - Executive Producer
- Criminal (2004) - Executive Producer
- The Jacket (2005) - Executive Producer
- Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) Academy Award nominee, Best Documentary Feature - Executive Producer
- Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) Six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture - Executive Producer
- The War Within (2005) – Executive Producer
- Bubble (2006) directed by Steven Soderbergh and released simultaneously in theaters, on television and on DVD – Executive Producer
- Herbie Hancock: Possibilities (2006) - Executive Producer
- One Last Thing... (2006) - Executive Producer
- Akeelah and the Bee (2006) – Executive Producer and Cameo
- The Architect (2006) - Executive Producer
- Turistas (2006) - Executive Producer
- Fast Track (2006) - Executive Producer
- Diggers (2006) - Executive Producer
- Black Christmas (2006) - Executive Producer
- Quid Pro Quo (2006) – Executive Producer
- Surfwise (2007) – Executive Producer
- We Own the Night (2007) – Executive Producer
- Fay Grim (2006) – Executive Producer
- Hunter (2007) - Executive Producer
- Broken English (2007) - Executive Producer
- What Just Happened? (2007) – Executive Producer
- The Life Before Her Eyes (2007) – Executive Producer
- "The World's Billionaires". Forbes. 3 March 2010.
- "Forbes 400". Forbes. 20 September 2007.
- "Billionaire Profile: Todd Wagner". Moneyed Up. Retrieved October 2010.
- "The Entrepreneur Spotlight: Todd Wagner". TechLifeMashUp. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- Fleming, Mike (15 September 2011). "Deadline Hollywood Toronto: As Magnolia Turns 10, Owner Todd Wagner Says It’s Not For Sale And That VOD Strategy Is Thriving". Deadline.