Notional wants to be taken seriously. That might be a little tough ordinarily for a new cross-platform video production company birthed by a website called CollegeHumor but Notional has great genes and, in Barry Diller, a godfather with serious pull. It also has a very real slate with production commitments from the Food Network and HGTV and several originals in various stages of development.
Notional is part of ConnectedVentures, the fancy name CollegeHumor cofounders Ricky Van Veen and Josh Abramson came up with a decade ago for a holding company. Video vet Dave Noll, president of the new company, is responsible for TV development and production. Noll, who was president of video production company City Lights, brought TV experience and the production deals for Food Network’s Chopped and HGTV’s Don’t Sweat It; Van Veen, the CEO, brings success creating across platforms, a wicked sense of humor and CollegeHumor’s nimble production skills. The production deals mean money is coming in while they work on development; they also add credibility. As Van Veen put it during an interview with paidContent, “No one wants to be the first one at the dance.”
– Working with Silverman: The new IAC (NSDQ: IACI) video production company shouldn’t be confused with the newest one, which would be Ben Silverman’s not-ready-for-primetime Electus. Van Veen and others at IAC say that the reports that had Notional reporting to Silverman were wrong, although they are working closely together. Both units are part of IAC’s media group, with Van Veen and Silverman each reporting to Diller. Van Veen says the two companies are working on some “awesome” projects together: “We’re doing different things in the same space. When Electus unveils what they’ll do, everybody will see how the sum is greater than its parts.” Diller and Silverman are co-hosting Notional’s launch party with Van Veen and Noll Thursday night at IAC HQ. The invitation, which I took as an attempt to add a kind of gravitas to Notional, was one of the “signs” that spurred the “Silverman is in charge” reports.
– Forget the elevator pitch: For Van Veen and Noll, it comes down to a link. Van Veen: “If your idea can