The MediaBridge Team

Our Principals and Strategic Advisors leverage deep industry knowledge, long-standing relationships and core functional expertise to deliver a superior level of service. We utilize our extensive network of senior executives at the leading strategic buyers and institutional investors to provide clients with unparalleled perspective and visibility essential to unlocking maximum synergy and increasing value for buyer and seller. Our compensation is tied to the successful achievement of our clients’ goals – thus we are fully aligned with their objectives.

Industry Executive Advisors

Courtney Spencer

David Schleifer

Graham Sharp

 

Senior Team

Ethan E. Jacks

Managing Partner
Ethan Jacks began his career in media technology when he joined digital media pioneer Avid Technology in 1999, and for over 7 years served in several senior executive positions, including EVP of Corporate Development, Chief Legal Officer and Chief Financial Officer.  Ethan helped drive Avid’s strategy to grow both organically and through aggressive M&A, leading a total of 13 acquisitions of private and publicly held companies that fueled Avid’s dramatic growth in film, video and audio sectors. In that period, Avid’s revenue doubled to $1 billion, and its market valuation grew from $400 million to $2.5 billion.
Since 2006, Ethan has served as an investment banker and strategic advisor. He co-founded MediaBridge Capital Advisors in 2012 with his partner John Bowen.  Transactions he has managed cover the full range of the media technology industry.  In the film and video market, they include the sale of film color inventor DaVinci Systems and the blue screen/green screen pioneer Ultimatte, both to Blackmagic Design; the $30 million sale of CA based wireless video leader Teradek to UK based The Vitec Group plc; and the recent sale of market dominant creative software vendor Final Draft to LA based Cast & Crew, a portfolio company of Silver Lake Partners.  In the pro-audio market Ethan’s transactions include the sale of audio console leader Euphonix to Avid, the sale of Minnetonka Audio Software to the Telos Alliance, the $12 million private equity financing of Cambridge MA based audio software innovator iZotope from private equity firm ABS Partners, and the recent sale of iconic Solid State Logic (owned by musician Peter Gabriel) to Audiotonix, a UK based pro audio conglomerate financed by private equity firm Astorg Partners.
Ethan has been involved in M&A and private and public corporate finance for over 30 years. As a corporate lawyer and partner in firms including McDermott, Will and Emery, Ethan represented buyers, sellers and investors in high-tech industries, with a focus on media and communications.  In 1991, Ethan was the co-founder and a senior executive at Molten Metal Technology, a groundbreaking environmental hazardous waste recycling technology company which commercialized MIT-developed intellectual property, raised over $400 million in growth capital, and grew to a public market valuation of over $1 billion.
Ethan holds a B.S. from MIT, an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

 

John C. Bowen

Managing Partner
With a focus on technology for close to 30 years, John has worked through several technology lifecycles, serving as an equity research analyst and investment banker for the last 15 years.
His career began in 1983 in Information Technology sales, and through 1995 represented all aspects of IT solutions including hardware, software, and professional services for Sybase, McDonnell Douglas, and Digital Equipment Corporation.  In these positions, John gained a deep exposure to technology and ongoing convergence trends, licensing and pricing strategies.
As an equity research analyst for First Albany Corporation (FAC), John published research and recommended public companies to institutional investors in enterprise software, communications hardware and software, and digital media markets.  In the early 2000’s, John was a recognized research analyst in the formative years of digital media.  Through FAC’s joint venture with META Group (acquired by Gartner Group), John published weekly research that provided a liaison between information technology end users and institutional investors.  John’s research coverage universe included companies such as Cisco Systems, SAP AG, Adobe Systems, Macromedia, Open Text, Siebel Systems, PeopleSoft, RSA Security, Check Point Systems, Symantec, 3Com, and Ascend Communications.
Since 2001, John has served as an investment banker and strategic advisor.  He co-founded MediaBridge Capital Advisors in 2012 with his partner Ethan Jacks.  John’s transactions cover a broad spectrum of the media technology industry including broadcast, audio, enterprise communications, Pro/AV and retail markets.  John has led several acquisitions by companies that include Google, Harman International, Barco, Sony Corporation, Audiotonix and Grass Valley.  Recent transactions include the acquisition of Solid State Logic by Audiotonix, SVSi by Harman International, the C$21 million sale of Montreal-based visual communications pioneer X2O Media to Barco NV, the $25 million sale of U.K.-based broadcast automation and channel-in-a-box leader Pebble Beach Systems to Vislink plc, and the $137 million acquisition of video codec vendor On2 Technologies to Google.
John holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, with a focus on Digital Systems from University of New Hampshire. He also holds an MBA with a concentration in finance from Babson College.

Industry Executive Advisors

Courtney Spencer

Industry Executive Advisor
Courtney Spencer is a Co-Founder of CRX Partners, which provides strategic and business development consulting services to media technology companies. Courtney brings over 30 years of executive experience in professional, broadcast and commercial audio. Prior to CRX, Courtney was Senior Vice President, Business & Professional Group Americas, D&M Holdings (Allen & Heath, Calrec, D&M Pro). Prior to accepting this position, Courtney consulted to D&M on a full-time basis. During this period he led the global post-acquisition integration of Calrec, and played a key role in reviewing and pursuing potential acquisitions for the company.
Previous career positions include Vice President and General Manager, Professional Audio for Sony Broadcast & Professional, and Vice President and General Manager of Martin Audio Video, the leading professional audio dealer in the U.S. at that time. Starting his career on the production side of the business, Courtney was senior producer at Mark Century, a major radio syndication firm servicing 100+ radio stations in North America.

David Schleifer

Industry Executive Advisor
A 25-year veteran of the technology industry, David Schleifer has recently held positions ranging from COO of Primestream, Inc. to VP of Sales and Marketing for Algolith. He previously held the position of Vice President of Strategic Planning for Avid Technology, where he built and managed the business strategy for the Media and Entertainment market, and Vice President of Broadcast for Avid where he built and managed Avid’s growth into the broadcast market. Over his career, Schleifer has been responsible for the development and introduction of many products – including the revolutionary Avid Interplay, Avid iNEWS Instinct and products including On-Air Systems, Automation, 3D graphics and Editing solutions. His responsibilities have also included the design, rollout and management of large complex systems for Film Studios, Data Storage and Networking and broadcasters like CBS and NBC, ABC, ZDF, Vice Media and others. Schleifer has advised and worked with several startups across a diverse set of industries, and worked closely with several VC’s helping them with strategy and due diligence. He recently worked with WWE, assisting in the launch and expansion of their OTT products and Rights Management projects for WWE films.

Graham Sharp

Industry Executive Advisor
Equally at home in a start-up or large corporation, Graham has a proven track record of building or changing cultures, acquiring and integrating businesses and building shareholder value, as well as an extensive knowledge of international business and cultures gained through living and working in Asia, Europe, Canada and the US.
Graham has more than 25 years Executive Management experience in the Media industry with such businesses as: The Vitec Group, plc, serving as SVP for Vitec Videocom; Grass Valley, where he was interim CMO and SVP of Corporate Development, responsible for Product Marketing, Marketing Communications, overarching Corporate Strategy, M & A activity, strategic alliances and helping drive the business transformation; Avid Technology where he was Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Video division; a $470m business with 1500 staff, and; Discreet Logic, where he was Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
With Media Asset Capital he has provided strategic advice and diligence for many blue chip clients, including but not limited to Autodesk, Francisco Partners, Hitachi, Vislink as well as numerous banks, Private Equity and VC funds.

Senior Advisors

Tom Ohanian

Senior Advisor
Tom Ohanian is an Academy Award and two-time Emmy recipient for Scientific and Technical Invention, multiple patent holder, and serves on the Technical Emmy committee. Tom has created and marketed products, and led strategic business development efforts that resulted in major media industry transformations in: (1) the transition from film and video editing to digital editing, where he designed and co-invented computerized film and video editing systems for Avid Technology, (2) the transition from satellite-based distribution to terrestrial IP-based aggregation and distribution, where he developed the product and strategy for Signiant, and (3) the transition to a converged and hyper-converged media-aware data center platform for Cisco.

Rob Levy

Senior Advisor
Rob Levy is the co-founder and COO of Film Bank, an LA based independent film and television production company. Rob has over 10 years’ experience in the film and television industry, including Artist Management Group, Warner Brothers, and Untitled Entertainment. Rob was President of InterMedia Entertainment, which published the IME Star Index, a research tool designed to assist advertisers in selecting and optimizing celebrity-driven advertising campaigns. He launched the branded entertainment division of Untitled Entertainment in 2007 and ran the division successfully through 2012. Rob began his business career at the investment banking firm of Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin.

Jeff Allen

Senior Advisor
Jeff Allen is the Senior Vice President of Business and Corporate Development for Brightcove, Inc. Jeff has more than 20 years leading start-ups and public companies, launching innovative cloud, SaaS, consumer electronics and consumer-facing businesses. As part of these efforts, he has worked closely with Accenture, Microsoft, Samsung, Best Buy, ESPN, Amazon, Adobe and IBM, among others, to build and market paradigm-shifting initiatives. His leadership and strategy experiences include managing all aspects of marketing, product management, corporate development/M&A and finance.
Jeff was VP of Business Development at Clearleap, a leading provider of cloud-based video services. Jeff helped lead the sale of Clearleap to IBM in December 2015 for over $200 million, forming the core of IBM’s new video cloud business unit.
Jeff is an expert in scalable architectures and cloud-based UX, and specializes in the application of sensors, video, and animation technologies to media and entertainment, finance and telco industries.

John Fargis

Senior Advisor
John Fargis is a senior executive with twenty-five years of general management experience in the China market, in telecom, media and technology industries. Google has purchased three of the companies he helped manage.
John is currently co-founder and partner in BYG Advantage, a sales acceleration firm bridging top technology SME’s into APAC. He is also a professor of Management, Strategy and Leadership at the Hult International Business School’s Shanghai campus.
John has run APAC for a number of software and hardware platforms including telecoms infrastructure, speech processing, video codecs, video conferencing, embedded touch technology, geo-location technology, open source data architecture, in-memory database, and IT systems management software. He has launched offices and built teams, numerous times in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, and Australia. John lives in Beijing with his wife and two daughters.

Josh Kline

Senior Advisor
After a decade working in film and television production, Josh Kline has spent the last 15 years building new businesses in Digital Media, with a focus on content creation, production and distribution. Until recently Josh was VP of Media and Entertainment at Box.com. Previously he was Chief Strategy Officer for Final Draft, Inc. the world leader in script writing software and services. Josh co-founded and led Sample Digital, Inc. as CEO, where he oversaw development of Digital Dailies®, revolutionizing the review and approval of production media in the film and television industry. Josh left Sample Digital to run Secure Path Technology, a venture backed enterprise cloud-based metadata company. He then worked in strategic business development at Deluxe Digital Distribution. Josh is the founder and CEO of a new mobile based, consumer facing barter exchange platform called Have Need, Inc. Josh is a 2013 Emmy award-winner for scientific and technical invention, as well as an alumnus of USC’s School of Planning & Development.

Angelo Santinelli

Senior Advisor
Angelo Santinelli has over 20 years experience covering a broad range of disciplines and responsibilities including business development, strategic planning, M&A, IPO, private equity financing, customer service, all aspects of marketing and international operations. Currently, Angelo is a principal and founder of Dakin Management, a strategy consultancy focusing on small to medium size businesses.
Angelo is a former partner of North Bridge Venture Partners, where he began his investing career covering communications, wireless, software and Internet infrastructure. Prior to joining North Bridge, Angelo was a senior executive of the Shiva Corporation, a provider of Remote Access Networking products, where he helped lead the company through a successful IPO, several acquisitions and a rapid growth phase. Prior to Shiva he was employed with Boston Consulting Group where he participated in the high-tech practice group, focusing on both business strategy and business process re-engineering for Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, Angelo has served on numerous boards of directors participating in both audit and compensation committees.
Angelo is an Adjunct Lecturer at Babson College and Advisor for the John E. and Alice L. Butler Venture Accelerator Program . He has been a Senior Lecturer at MIT, Sloan School of Management, where he taught Entrepreneurship. He received a BS from Fordham University in 1984, and an MBA from Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration in 1989.

Meri Weingarten

Senior Advisor
Meri Weingarten is the Director of Digital Media and Technology at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. In her role at USC, she oversees the management and strategic planning of digital media and technology in the school’s state of the art Production and Post Production facility. As part of the planning team for the school’s new building, Meri helped create a comprehensive professional 21st century digital environment. In addition, Meri has held an adjunct professor post in the Division of Film & Television at USC.
Prior to working at USC, Meri’s 20-year career in the entertainment industry includes award-winning work as an editor, producer, and director. Her body of work spans television movies for CBS, ABC, and HBO, as well as PBS documentaries and Saturday Night Live. She has worked on numerous feature films including the Academy Award winning Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976), Arthur (1981), and Visions of Light (1992).

Lawrence Blume

Senior Advisor
Lawrence Blume has worked in film, television, media technology, and entertainment for twenty-five years. Starting as an assistant to legendary Hollywood producer, Edgar J. Scherick (Take the Money and Run, The Heartbreak Kid, The Stepford Wives), he went on to become a writer-director-producer, editor, and media technologist. He was the founder/co-owner of PostWorks, New York’s largest post production company, and was a trailblazer in the development of portable, location-based digital post production systems.
In addition, Lawrence has directed two television dramas; Martin & Orloff (Comedy Central – 2002) for which he was named one of the “Ten Rising Stars of Comedy” by the Hollywood Reporter, and Tiger Eyes (Lifetime – 2013), which won numerous awards and is currently in release around the world.
He has worked as a production/distribution consultant on many independent feature and documentary films and has lectured extensively on HDTV, Digital Cinema, and the convergence of television and the internet.
Following his passion for food and entertainment, Lawrence was a founding investor at City Winery, a fully functioning winery, restaurant, and live music venue with locations in New York, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, and Boston.
He is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America (PGA) and the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) and currently divides his time between New York City and Martha’s Vineyard.

Chad Knowles

Senior Advisor
Chad is the CEO of OpenDrives, where he is responsible for day-to-day operations and leads product development and technology strategy. He is a 20-year veteran of the media and technology industry with executive positions held at EMC’s Media & Entertainment practice in the Cloud Infrastructure Group, Echostar, and SecurePath Technology. Chad built the digital media divisions of two high profile postproduction companies. He began as an investment banker providing M&A advisory services to companies in the technology, gaming, and publishing industries. Chad is the author of published works for the Motion Picture Association.