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At ELA, Solomon ’60 talks content distribution

Michael Jay Solomon ’60, one of the largest distributors of U.S. television content in the world over the last 35 years, discussed content distribution with a group of panelists at Emerson Los Angeles on April 20.

Solomon began the panel by recounting his history—from loading films onto trucks for the film and television entertainment company United Artists to becoming the president of Warner Bros. International Television and now the founder of Truli Media Group.  

“You’re probably familiar with the phrase ‘content is king,’ but distribution is emperor,” said Solomon, referring to how new technologies can help businesses achieve success in a short amount of time.

Over the course of his storied career, Solomon helped open up the Central American territory for American films and put most of the TV networks on the air in Latin America. Among the TV shows he had a hand in helping to produce or distribute: Dallas, Alf, and The People’s Court.

Solomon panel

Michael Solomon '60 led a panel discussion at Emerson Los Angeles about content distribution with Jules Haimovitz, Nicholas Chartier, and Jonathan Cody. (Photo by Daryl Paranada)

“I went to Judge Judy and said, you owe me 10 percent of all your earnings,” Solomon joked. “She told me, ‘There is no way you’re going to get 10 percent.’”

Solomon devotes all of his time now on Truli Media Group, a company he founded and financed that is on its way to being the largest digital aggregator of content focusing on family and faith.

“I’m not a person who likes to maintain,” said Solomon. “I’m a person who likes to create.”

When asked about some of the biggest mistakes he has made as an entrepreneur, Solomon told the audience that you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with and to not be arrogant.

“You have to have a small company mentality, not a big company mentality,” he said.

Solomon was joined on the panel by Jules Haimovitz, former president of Viacom Network Group; Nicolas Chartier, Oscar-winning producer of The Hurt Locker; and Jonathan Cody, founder and CEO of TV4 Entertainment. 

Cassandra Gorum ’15, a Visual and Media Arts major, attended the panel because she wanted to get a better understanding of the future of distribution. An intern at CreativeFuture, a company that promotes the value of creativity in today’s digital age, Gorum felt the panel would help her gain insight into how to respect and protect creativity as she prepares to enter the entertainment industry.

“On a bigger scale, content distribution doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it really is,” said Gorum.

Justin DeMarco ’08, a writer, attended the event to get advice from the diverse group of panelists, all power players in the entertainment industry.

“It’s good to get a sense of what’s out there,” said DeMarco. “I learned a lot, including how to distribute things on my own.”’

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