WASHINGTON (Aug. 2, 2007)–National Geographic Ventures (NGV) President and CEO Tim Kelly today announced the creation of National Geographic Music and Radio (NGMR) to reach people and inspire them to care about the planet through music and the power of radio. Kelly also announced the appointment of industry luminary David Beal as president to oversee the music labels, publishing and radio operations. Mark Bauman, currently a vice president of National Geographic’s Mission Programs, will serve as executive vice president and will spearhead radio and video production initiatives. NGMR launches with several distribution partners, including Clear Channel, Salem Communications and NPR.
NGMR will distribute and promote its music offerings throughout all of National Geographic’s media platforms, including the National Geographic Channels worldwide, National Geographic Films, National Geographic Giant Screen Films and National Geographic Kids Entertainment, as well as its magazines and digital media divisions. In addition to its programming and music supervision responsibilities, NGMR will oversee the production of projects from today’s hottest artists who are actively involved in environmental and cultural issues. Artist performances and in-depth interviews will be filmed in HD and distributed through NGMR, offering artists a new option to promote and distribute music on multiple National Geographic platforms. Jack Johnson, Ben Harper and Peter Gabriel are some of the artists with whom NGMR has been working to date.
The Music and Radio group is focused on seven key areas:
– Music Supervision Services — supervising music services for all National Geographic divisions, including feature films, giant-screen films and kids’ programming
– Live Events — featuring some of the world’s greatest performers
– WorldMusic.NationalGeographic.com — critically acclaimed consumer music site offering 99-cent MP3s, media-rich features, breaking music news and celebrity DJ playlists
– Radio — launching syndicated radio shows and HD/Internet channels
– Record Label — investing in new projects with three imprints: artist releases, soundtracks and kids
– Music Publishing — managing the music publishing assets of the Society, representing over 12,000 copyrights
– Music TV — overseeing music programming for the National Geographic Channel
“National Geographic Music and Radio will engage listeners with great talk and sound, and also offer artists and experts who care about global culture and the environment an outlet to create awareness for important issues,” said Kelly. “David’s expertise working with world-class musicians and his impressive track record for integrating and distributing multimedia content are crucial to the success of the new division. We are very fortunate to have David Beal at the helm and Mark Bauman as part of the team.”
The music division is already in full swing, producing music programming for various National Geographic divisions, for films such as “Arctic Tale” and “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure,” and for series television such as “Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies.”
“Music is an integral part of history and culture and brings geography to life. The overwhelming enthusiasm for the World Music site launch demonstrated that audiences are engaging with different cultures through music,” said Beal. “Through our various units, we will be able to create an emotional connection for our listeners with the planet.”
About David Beal and Mark Bauman
Beal recently worked with National Geographic on the successful launch of WorldMusic.NationalGeographic.com. Formerly, as president of Palm Pictures, Beal oversaw the creative divisions of Palm, including film, DVD, interactive technologies and magazine publishing. At Palm he worked with Chairman Chris Blackwell to implement a multi-platform strategy, developing global niche brands and releasing some of the leading titles in audio/visual entertainment. Prior to his position as president of Palm, Beal had a diverse career, ranging from being the CEO of an award-winning Web technology company to film scoring, music production and performing as a drummer/programmer with acts such as Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Joe Cocker and Julian Lennon. His most widely known musical film production is his collaboration with U2’s Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton on the Grammy-nominated “Theme From Mission: Impossible.”
Bauman, an award-winning producer of nonfiction television and news for 15 years, has been recognized with numerous broadcast and print journalism honors, including an Emmy and 12 Cine Golden Eagles. In recent years he has launched an international film festival for National Geographic and overseen production and marketing for some of the highest-rated series on the National Geographic Channel. Before joining National Geographic, Bauman, who is fluent in Spanish, Russian, Czech and Italian, was based in Eastern Europe and Latin America for ABC News, where he ran Baghdad and Balkan coverage for extended periods of time.
About National Geographic Ventures
National Geographic Ventures (NGV) is a wholly owned, taxable subsidiary of National Geographic Society, one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations in the world. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the National Geographic Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. NGV includes National Geographic Television (NGT) production and distribution, National Geographic Television International, National Geographic Films and National Geographic Giant Screen Films, Kids Entertainment, National Geographic Home Entertainment, National Geographic Music and Radio, Digital Media including Digital Motion (formerly the Film Library) and Nationalgeographic.com, as well as National Geographic Maps. NGV creates and distributes content across multi-platforms and media that provide outlets for the hundreds of scientific and expedition-based grants awarded each year. For more information, go to www.nationalgeographic.com.