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“We are all in this together.” With Dr. Ely Weinschneider & Larry Namer

I’m of the belief that the world will never be the same. Not necessarily better or worse but different. There were many things that people were afraid of because most people resist rather than embrace change. I think that if we learn anything from this nightmare it is that we are all one. The human race […]

I’m of the belief that the world will never be the same. Not necessarily better or worse but different. There were many things that people were afraid of because most people resist rather than embrace change.

I think that if we learn anything from this nightmare it is that we are all one. The human race and we are dependent on each other and need to put political and ideological differences aside and focus on what’s good for us as humans and for our planet and everything on it.


As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Larry Namer, E! Founder and President/CEO of Metan Global Entertainment Group.

An entertainment industry veteran with close to 50 years professional experience in cable television, live events, and new media, Larry Namer is a founding partner of Metan Global Entertainment Group (MGEG), a venture created to develop and distribute entertainment content and media specifically for Chinese speaking audiences in China and abroad. In 2018, the company launched the MGEG Film Fund and serves as a managing partner. He is also the executive producer on the recently announced feature film “EMPRESS” and a new travel series for the China audience, titled “Explore The World.”

Mr. Namer is the co-founder of E! Entertainment Television, a company now valued at over four billion USD, and the creator of several successful companies in the United States and overseas. Among those companies are Comspan Communications that pioneered Western forms of entertainment in the former Soviet Union and Steeplechase Media that served as the primary consultant to Microsoft’s MiTV for developing interactive TV applications.

Early on, he was named the youngest general manager of a major cable system at Valley Cable TV (VCTV) in Los Angeles. His vision and direction garnered VCTV several Emmy and Cable ACE award nominations, as well as recognition by Forbes magazine as the national model for local cable television programming. In 1989, he was awarded the prestigious President’s Award from the National Cable Television Association. He was honored with the “Outstanding Contribution to Asian Television Award” at the 19th Asian Television Awards in Singapore, and most recently was presented with the International Media Legacy Award at the 2017 Elite Awards Foundation Gala and the Hollywood Lifetime Achievement Award in Entertainment at the 2018 Hollywood Tribute Awards and the 2019 Hollywood China Night by the American-Chinese CEO Society (ACCS), both in celebration of the Academy Awards®. He also was awarded The Tribeca Disruptor Award at the Novus Summit, held at the United Nations in July 2019.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Well, I graduated from college with a degree in economics and a license to teach that or history. Just at that time, NYC underwent a budget crisis and there was a freeze on hiring teachers. So I took what I thought would be a mindless temporary job to have some time to figure out a new career path. Through someone I knew, I got a job as an assistant underground splicer for a company called Sterling Manhattan Cable TV. I wasn’t even the splicer but rather the splicer’s assistant. Every morning, we would go below the streets of New York and put cables together. They paid me $90 per week. At that time no one knew what cable was and my friends all questioned my sanity. “ Do you really think anyone will pay for TV?,” they asked. I became fascinated with the potential of cable and how it could take us out of the world of just three networks (ABC, NBS, CBS) and provide access to media to a much broader swath of society. So I stayed on when Time Inc. bought the company and the promise of what cable TV can do to become a primary agenda. I rose through the ranks very quickly and by 25, I was director of operations with over 300 people reporting to me. I had all the operating divisions including engineering, construction, installation, and service. Eventually, marketing and sales were added to my group. When I hit the ripe old age of 28, I was promoted to be the director of corporate development and charged with finding new ways and new revenue streams by launching new services that used the cable plan. So even before there was an Internet, we were doing data communications and information services throughout Manhattan. Very quickly that turned into the largest slice of net profits for the company. Then when I hit 30, the cities around the US began to issue franchises for cable TV to come to their city. I got recruited by Valley Cable (VCTV) in Los Angeles to join a VP General Manager for what was to be the first 61-channel, two-way interactive cable system. The opportunity was too good to resist and I moved to LA to take that on. Now I had programming and finance within my responsibilities. VCTV won many awards, from Emmy to Ace, and was named the ‘national model for cable programming’ by Forbes Magazine. It was there that I became enamored by programming and started playing with ideas. When Valley Cable was sold I didn’t want to join the parent company in Toronto, so I stayed in LA and with my friend Alan Mruvka came up with the idea for E! (at first, we called it Movietime).

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Future Shock by Alvin Toffler and As The Future Catches You by Juan Enriquez. These books broadened my thinking as to the role of technology and human development. I use the theories from both books in my everyday decision-making.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

I’m of the belief that the world will never be the same. Not necessarily better or worse but different. There were many things that people were afraid of because most people resist rather than embrace change. Now we can see that working from home on a mass scale is possible for a lot of companies. Movies can be released on digital platforms instead of in theaters and still bring in big revenue numbers (I’m not saying theaters will go away but rather we will see their number lessen while the Netflix-es of the world become part of the release plan. There will be many new opportunities this horrible situation will present. I don’t think we can even identify them all right now while we are primarily focused on survival. There is no question in my mind that certain things like essential drugs and healthcare will bring back some business and jobs to the US as we have learned we have to be self-sufficient in certain key areas. It won’t happen in a day, a week or a month, but it will happen.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

  1. Show them they are not alone. That we all are in this together. This is a problem that will be solved with a global solution.
  2. They will not have age, race, economics or other factors that negate society as a whole seeking to save society as a whole.
  3. Convince them that the food supply (and toilet paper) are not going to run out.
  4. I think that we must unite as a nation and stop pointing fingers at immigrants and visitors (particularly Asians) that they somehow are the cause of this. We need to show them that we value their lives and contributions to society. They need to know that there is no physical or verbal threat to them or their family.
  5. We need to convey that we will find an answer to this and while the world may be different, all will once again be good.

What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?

I’m pretty tired of watching cable news networks (all of them) and how they inject their political bias into the reporting. We are all going to die if we don’t start reporting the truth and reality. Today, I’ll watch Governor Cuomo’s briefing, since sadly it’s the only thing I trust.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

I think that “if you can dream it, you can build it” best exemplifies my approach to business and life in general. Look at me. A poor kid from Brooklyn, descendent of immigrants from Turkey and Russia, being able to start what has become the number one propeller of pop culture around the world. Mom worked for social services (I think that’s where my compassion and empathy comes from) and dad was a truck driver for Pepsi Cola (that’s where the work ethic comes from).

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I think that if we learn anything from this nightmare it is that we are all one. The human race and we are dependent on each other and need to put political and ideological differences aside and focus on what’s good for us as humans and for our planet and everything on it.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

My Facebook is probably the most up to date and reflective of what I’m up to.

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