Sassa Bulks Up Venture

Original:, the Los Angeles-based company founded in part by NBC and Friendster alum Scott Sassa, has added three new-media veterans to its board. It hopes to grow its business devoted to producing tools that make it easy for fans to build good-looking Websites or blogs around existing media franchises or specific art forms.

Joining the board are Josh Freeman, EVP, digital media, of Discovery Communications; former Overture CEO Ted Meisel; and former MTV Networks president and COO Michael Wolf.

Discovery and Universal Music Group are among investors.

Besides providing Website-building tools for the public, the 24-person company also is creating sites around the TLC shows Miami Ink and LA Ink and plans to build other communities around TLC shows.

A recent promotion with Hollywood Records led to fans of the Jonas Brothers to create 10,000 sites over Memorial Day weekend.

Sassa hopes those numbers will lead to more deals with media companies wanting to spur viral online growth, but says that appealing to fans is his first priority.

"When things like the Jonas Brothers or LA Ink work, then I hope it will attract other networks," he says. "We are talking to some other companies, but that's not our key focus."