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DEN Plays With $24M In Financing

The big kids at Digital Entertainment Network (DEN), a Gen-Y geared on-line

programmer, have received much-needed play money to the sum of US$24

million. The new round of financing includes investments from NBC, Chase

Capital Partners, Enron Broadband Services Inc. and Intel, among others.

Missing from this round of financing is former Warner Bros. chairman, Terry

Semel. However sources say he has separately invested $2 million in the

company. Santa Monica-based DEN has also restructured its management team,

making Gary Gersh, former co-president of DEN Music Group and past

president and CEO of Capitol Records, chairman; chief technology officer

and former Microsoft exec Greg Carpenter has been made CEO and chief

information officer; former Disney TV president David Neuman will continue

as president; and John Silva, co-chairman of management firm GAS

Entertainment and formerly co-president of the DEN Music Group, will now

serve as president of the tunes division. The additional funding, which

brings its total to $65 million, tech partnerships and management

re-alignment is expected to light a fire under the feet of the troubled

Netcaster. Plus, executive salaries that were reportedly the highest in the

biz have been significantly altered. Currently, the network broadcasts such

interactive shows as college-centered FRAT RATZ, the Christian-themed

REDEMPTION HIGH, Flash-animated FAT KID and AGGRONATION, an extreme sports

show. "With these agreements, we have completed the necessary

infrastructure to economically create, promote and deliver our extensive

array of Internet entertainment content," Carpenter said. Last May, DEN

raised $30 million from Chase Capital, Dell, Microsoft and senior partners

of Lazard Freres. The new cash will help move DEN closer to its plans to go

public in a $75 million offering. Original plans had an IPO scheduled for

the end of 1999.

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Rick DeMott
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