According to Variety.com, former William Morris Endeavor (WME) agency partner Charles King has lined up Apple heiress Laurene Powell Jobs as the leading investor in MACRO, the media company King recently founded to produce content for the African-American, Latino and multicultural markets.
King announced Wednesday that Jobs’ Emerson Collective would head the first round of investment in his company, with contributions also coming from a host of other technology and innovation firms and individuals, including Michael Kassan’s Medialink, and MNM Creative, a multi-national media and entertainment company. The announcement did not describe the size of the individual investments in the initial funding round, but put the total infusion in the eight-figure range.
King left the talent agency and announced the formation of his new company at the beginning of the year, with a focus on building ownership of creative properties conceived and made by minority artists. One of the most prominent minority agents in Hollywood, King was the long-time representative of multi-hyphenate Tyler Perry. MACRO has signaled that it will be announcing projects with filmmakers Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”) and Craig Brewer (“Hustle & Flow”).
Other investors in MACRO include Raymond McGuire, the global head of corporate and investment banking at Citigroup, tech entrepreneur Justin Yoshimura and Michael Kane, managing director of the Los Angeles-based private equity firm Caltius Capital.
Jobs is the widow of Apple computer founder Steve Jobs. Her net worth has been pegged by Forbes at more than $18 billion. Her Emerson Collective had previously provided seed money to small startups focused on education and health care.
“Charles is uniquely poised to lead what’s sure to become the kind of media company that will launch careers and brands, but more importantly, add rich value to our entertainment culture,” Jobs said in a statement. “Charles has an extraordinary set of creative instincts — he’s demonstrated a remarkable ability to amplify talent, trends and content to multi-cultural audiences throughout his career.”
King said that his company would serve a market that “has been vastly underserved for too long.” He called the newly-announced investors “boundary-pushing, innovative thinkers and leaders in their respective fields of technology, finance and media.”
original article by James Rainey; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson