VC Pay Surged Again in 2021, but Future Jumps Are in Jeopardy

Former Disney executive Kevin Mayer. Photo by AP
The Briefing
Entertainment

Former Disney Exec Kevin Mayer's Comeback

Photo: Former Disney executive Kevin Mayer. Photo by AP

How the world turns! A little more than a year ago, Disney’s onetime streaming chief, Kevin Mayer, looked like he had made the career blunder of the decade by quitting as CEO of TikTok during a short-lived fuss over the hugely popular app’s Chinese ownership. Today, though, Mayer has emerged as a player in the intense battle underway between tech and media companies trying to profit from the streaming boom.

Two pieces of news on Wednesday highlighted Mayer’s new status. Discovery, the TV firm buying control of HBO Max’s parent, WarnerMedia, from AT&T, said it had tapped Mayer as a consultant. Discovery CEO David Zaslav gushed to analysts that Mayer was a “big brain” who could help Discovery “with everything that he’s learned.” At about the same time, The Information reported that Mayer and his former Disney colleague, Tom Staggs, were close to a deal to buy kids’ streaming production firm Moonbug Entertainment for about $3 billion through a firm backed by Blackstone. It would be the second deal done by the Mayer-Staggs-Blackstone group, following their $900 million purchase of Reese Witherspoon’s studio Hello Sunshine. The team is betting that the value of independent production houses can only go up from here, thanks to the streaming boom.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Weekend Media/Telecom Startups
How Taylor Lorenz Became America's Most Polarizing Tech Reporter
How Taylor Lorenz Became America's Most Polarizing Tech Reporter
Hi, welcome to your Weekend! I wish I was writing you in happier circumstances, and could simply talk up Annie's riveting profile of Taylor Lorenz, below. But this has been a tragic week. The mass murder of 19 kids and their two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, has been on all of our minds. Unfortunately, the hopelessness you're probably feeling is justified. Recent history gives us little...
Latest Briefs
 
SEC Confirms Scruitiny Elon Musk’s Initial Disclosure of Twitter Stake
Twitter Board Rejects Shareholder Vote to Oust Silver Lake’s Durban
Chinese E-commerce App Pinduoduo Reports Better-Than-Expected Results
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital. Photo by Getty
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Sequoia Warns Founders of ‘Crucible Moment,’ Advises How to ‘Avoid the Death Spiral’
Sand Hill Road’s doomsayer-in-chief—Sequoia Capital—is back with a warning to its startup founders: Don’t expect a recovery from the current market downturn to happen quickly.
Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings. Photo by Bloomberg.
True Value Entertainment
Netflix Could Boost U.S. Revenue 21% With Advertising Push
Netflix has spent its entire existence setting the trend for others in video streaming to follow. But as it prepares to launch an ad-supported tier, Netflix executives are pondering a different question: Which rival service should it follow as a model?
Photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive
A Top China VC Firm Struggles to Raise Funds After 10% Return, U.S. Investor Fears
Despite a difficult climate for raising money, at least four top-tier Chinese venture capital firms set ambitious goals to raise billions of dollars this year from Western institutional investors.
Dan Levitan, co-founder of Maveron. Photo by Maveron.
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Consumer VC Firm Maveron Raises $225 Million Amid ‘Serious Paradigm Shift’
Venture firm Maveron, whose well-timed investments in eBay and Drugstore.com helped it get through the 2000 dot-com bust with relative ease, had a tougher time during the financial crisis eight years later, when it was forced to downsize and narrow its focus to early-stage investing in consumer brands.
Brian Armstrong, chief executive officer of Coinbase. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Crypto Culture
Coinbase Tests App for Employees to Grade Each Other During Meetings
Coinbase, a cryptocurrency trading firm that garnered attention for banning salary negotiations and political speech among employees in recent years, is testing another practice that has raised eyebrows internally: asking employees to frequently rate each other.
Art by Mike Sullivan
Crypto Venture Capital
VC Pay Surged Again in 2021, but Future Jumps Are in Jeopardy
It’s hard to find venture capitalists right now who aren’t telling their startups to tighten their belts.