Ridgeline CEO: ‘We are about to truly explode’

Auburn-based production company’s success highlighted at industry event
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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Guests at Auburn Industry 2012 on Friday toured several businesses at the airport’s industrial park highlighting successes and opportunities, but perhaps none projected a brighter picture than Ridgeline Entertainment. Its CEO and executive producer Doug Stanley made a surprise appearance, breaking from his day that he said included meeting with an executive vice president of Ryan Seacrest Productions, to share his passion for Auburn and his excitement about the future. “It’s been a long ride to get to where we are today, but we are about to truly explode,” said Stanley, an Emmy Award winning producer and director of photography whose work includes “Deadliest Catch.” “We’ve got some huge announcements that are going to be coming out, and we are currently designing the content of the future.” Ridgeline generated the first pay-per-view event on Facebook last year when it broadcast “Dragonflies and Astronauts,” and the technology it developed then and has continued to build upon has put the company at the forefront of an emerging market, Stanley said. It’s a technology that piqued the interest of Ryan Seacrest Productions. While Ridgeline may be best known for producing a litany of reality television shows, Stanley is buzzing about something entirely different called “brand channels.” They are a customizable player featured on a company’s Facebook page meant to serve as a destination where visitors can access premium content, live or recorded, and even chat with cast members or other fans while watching. Ridgeline is in talks for a business venture with Ryan Seacrest Productions, and Stanley recently spent a week in New York hosted by the Seacrest executive who then wanted to meet the team and visit Ridgeline’s facilities, said Leonard Carillo, Ridgeline producer/director. Though a potential deal is still in its infancy, Ryan Seacrest Productions, which produces the Kardashian reality franchise, would be a great coup for Ridgeline, Carillo said. “How it looks, where it goes, there’s still a lot to be worked out, but it would (be a coup) because of what they bring to the table,” he said. “It would pretty much put us in the front row seat, let’s put it that way. It would be very, very exciting.” Carillo said the representative’s visit went “very positive.” It just so happened to coincide with Auburn Industry 2012. The city, Placer County and Auburn Chamber of Commerce hosted the event to raise awareness in the community and also to potentially lure out-of-town business to relocate to the industrial park. However, if Ridgeline has its way, there won’t be vacant space available in its building for long. Stanley said his vision is to fill the building where his company resides “end to end” with facilities to cater to companies that want to take advantage of its brand channels and other offerings. Ridgeline currently occupies about 5,000 square feet of the 64,400 square-foot building it cohabitates with Intermotive, leaving about 45,000 square feet of space currently available, said Mike Fluty, senior broker for Coldwell Banker Commercial. Fluty said Ridgeline is currently in talks with the property managers about expanding. “At this point it hasn’t gone beyond just expression of future interest,” he said. “They moved in in March or April of this last year, and I would say that almost instantly after getting in there and looking around and realizing what they could do expansion-wise, they started talking about that.” Stanley said Ridgeline’s long-term goals are becoming more short-term now. He said he wants to fill the building with facilities to manage the back-end of cable-like television stations as well as multiple sets. “If we have a McDonald’s set, they can call us on Wednesday for the promo to be shot, by Friday we can have it on their channel,” he said of the company’s future goal. While talking about the brand-channel and Facebook broadcasting technology, Stanley said he recently had meetings with McDonald’s and an “incredible” meeting this week with Subway. “We’re right at this verge of what we call the convergence of media, which threatens greatly the traditional broadcast industry,” Stanley said. “And somehow through doing this project last year, we ended up in the exact right position, and we literally lead the world by a very long margin in the platform industry.” Jon Schultz can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews