NORWALK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Children’s intellectual property and media executives Rick Richter and Jim Young today announced the launch of Ruckus Media Group, a global family entertainment company. Through its Ruckus Mobile Media unit, the company will first focus on originating high definition animated children’s story apps (applications) for mobile media platforms including the iPhone, iTouch, iPad and Android mobile devices. Ruckus Mobile Media will create a completely new library of digital media by combining touch screen technology with intellectual property from award-winning celebrities and bestselling children’s authors and illustrators. “Ruckus is working with proven talent to deliver original works in ways that fully leverage the capabilities of all leading mobile devices. Our goal is to extend a child’s imagination through interactivity and to lead more and more kids to play and to read, regardless of the medium,” said co-founder and CEO Rick Richter, President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing from 1996-2008. “With more than 26 apps to be available by the end of the year and 75 under contract, Ruckus Media is poised to become, almost overnight, among the world’s largest resources for children’s media for mobile platforms.”
Ruckus Mobile Media is developing original apps with bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators including Jon Scieszka, Rosemary Wells, Sandra Boynton, Andrew Clements, Patricia MacLachlan, Alan Katz, David Carter, Kevin Lewis, Mike Austin, and Caitlin Friedman, among several others, to create interactive works not possible within the pages of a printed book.
The Ruckus launch list of apps will include the award-winning Rabbit Ears Library of classic children’s tales told by top Hollywood celebrities (including Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Robin Williams, Denzel Washington and many others), now digitally re-mastered and optimized for mobile applications and with several added interactive features.
The company’s first apps for iPhone and iTouch will be available for $3.99 each from the Apple App Store beginning September 28 and include the Play-Read-and-Record-Along animated stories Tom Thumb and the Knights of the Round Table, told by John Cleese with music by Elvis Costello, and The Velveteen Rabbit, told by Meryl Streep with music by George Winston, among others. All Ruckus apps will be iPhone and iPad compatible and will enjoy frequent upgrades. Droid apps are planned for release later in the fall.
“The explosive apps market is ripe for Ruckus to leverage smart phone and tablet computer technology’s capabilities to improve on and enrich a child’s experience on mobile devices. Our initial focus on mobile apps of great quality and value will propel Ruckus into a natural extension of additional products and services, played out in the global market,” says Jim Young, Ruckus Co-Founder and COO. Young brings senior level operating experience to Ruckus from NBC, Viacom, Dendrite International and WebMD.
The Ruckus Media Group’s Board of Directors brings together leaders with extraordinary media, business and financial experience including Jack Romanos, former CEO, Simon & Schuster Publishing, who will consult on a day-to-day basis on project development, strategy and marketing; Kay Koplovitz, Founder of USA Networks and the Sci-Fi Channel and Chairman of the Board for Liz Claiborne; Neal Zuckerman, management consultant in digital media and mobile industries, formerly of Time Warner and McKinsey & Company; John Foster, CFO of National Gas Partners and Chairman of the Board for Stepping Stones Children’s Museum; Christine Pellizzari, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Dan Weiss, Publisher at Large, St. Martin’s Publishing, former Managing Director of SparkNotes.com and creator of the bestselling book and television series “The Vampire Diaries” and “Sweet Valley High.”