Peter Chernin, who stepped down as News Corp.’s chief operating officer nearly a year-and-a-half ago, is now launching a new media company based in Asia. The company, called CA Media, will operate initially in China, India and Indonesia and “focus on a broad range of opportunities in content creation (specifically, film and TV production), television networks, sports, education, advertising, and digital media,” according to an announcement. Chernin will be chairman, while Paul Aiello, the former Star Group CEO who left last summer after a restructuring of News Corp.’s Asian broadcasting business, will be CA Media’s CEO.
When Chernin announced his intention to leave News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). in February 2009, he said he was “ready for new entrepreneurial challenges;” since then, his projects have included development of a prequel to the Planet of the Apes and this spring he was also said to be plotting a programming deal for an Xbox ‘TV’ channel aimed at young males. At one point was also reportedly working on a deal to purchase a cable channel.
At a panel discussion last fall, however, Chernin foreshadowed his interest in some sort of Asian venture specifically talking up the digital media opportunity for investors in Asian markets. In the announcement today, Chernin provides some color about that opportunity, saying that “in Asia, there is less distinction between ‘traditional media’ and ‘new media'” and adding that “nearly everything is growing, which allows for more robust prospects across the industry.”
The new company is being backed by Allen & Co., Brookside Capital, and investor Gordon Crawford, among others. The company did not disclose how much money it had raised.