Dan Adler is the founder of Media Eagles LLC, a boutique media consultancy firm. A longtime entertainment and new media executive and consultant, Adler has spent close to three decades integrating talent and technology to successfully launch new initiatives and companies. As a founder, partner, principal, producer, executive, or advisor, he has served as a change-agent in a range of fields. His comfort in the worlds of business, technology, and entertainment have provided a unique platform from which to launch businesses and to re-imagine large-scale philanthropic and advocacy projects. He is as comfortable in a boardroom as he is in a classroom, on a set as he is on a campaign trail, in a start-up as he is in a Fortune 100.
Adler started his Hollywood career in Creative Artists Agency’s infamous mailroom in 1986. He was a key architect of the agency's overall corporate consulting/marketing practice. He launched and led the agency’s New Media division back in 1991, when he began forging relationships with the leading new media pioneers, entrepreneurs, game developers, and VCs, whom he then put in to deals with many of the Agency’s A-level clients. He became a regular visitor to and speaker at the MIT Media Lab beginning in 1991 and was a key part of the early days of the TED conference; he has remained active at both institutions and in fact was one of the curators of TED’s 30th anniversary conference, which was its inaugural one in its new Vancouver home. He led CAA’s work in developing and executing strategies for the agency’s top clients to build their presence in the emerging market while also representing the leading new artists in the gaming, online, and interactive arenas.
He left CAA in November of 1995 to join The Walt Disney Company as Vice President of Talent & Business Development, Disney Interactive, before moving to a role as Vice President, Creative Development, for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he was responsible for fostering Imagineering's relationships across the creative, technical, and business communities while working closely with the Disney Fellows Program. He was one of the key architects of the Disney & ABC agenda in the convergence of the internet and TV. As lead producer of that project, he leveraged his relationships across TV networks, professional sports leagues, and A-level talent to deliver arguably the earliest model of what a user-controlled and fully integrated TV and computer experience could be — i.e. a two-screen solution, back in 1999.
Adler rejoined Creative Artists Agency at the height of the dot-com boom to rebuild and run the New Media division, quickly assembling a 20-person department. He led the agency’s work in incubating new businesses while also structuring deals to bring together some of Hollywood’s biggest stars with Fortune 500 companies and with many of the most important emerging businesses in the new media landscape; he also led the representation of new media talent. He left in early 2003 to become Chief Strategic Officer of The Convex Group, an Atlanta-based media network and entertainment company focused on new forms of distribution for entertainment and advertising.
In 2005, he launched Media Eagles, a boutique consulting firm that provides high-level strategic thinking to a wide range of Hollywood and global clients. That year, he developed a business plan around his belief that the deteriorating state of traditional distribution was ripe for a new model focused on a more direct connection between the creators and consumers of content. After securing a multi-million dollar commitment to back that vision, he founded and served as CEO of FANISTA, a first-of-its-kind online shopping experience for movies, music, and games that combined early models of social networking with elements of direct-selling—along with integrating a critical charitable component. FANISTA also underwrote and produced a groundbreaking campaign of 38 short films in support of the people of Burma. The star-studded "Burma: It Can't Wait" campaign received widespread international print and broadcast press attention, earned a long list of marketing and online awards for breaking new ground in viral and advocacy campaigns, and generated considerable financial and public support for the release of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
Adler continues to help a wide range of individuals and companies realize their business and artistic vision. He serves as producer or executive producer on a number of film and television projects currently in development; he also was Executive Producer of NOEL, which marked Chazz Palminteri’s directorial debut and starred Penelope Cruz, Susan Sarandon, Alan Arkin, Paul Walker, and Robin Williams. He co-produced and was the driving force behind the inaugural performance of The Soul of Jewish Music, featuring Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, and continues to support the show and its expansion, now titled “Eternal Echoes.”
His current portfolio includes US-, Asian-, Israeli-, European-, and Canadian-based businesses focused on new forms of distribution, augmented reality, smart-city infrastructure, alternative energy, traditional Hollywood content, user-generated and short-form online content, children’s programming, alternative solutions to combat piracy, and new models to drive philanthropy, engagement, and advocacy. He has produced concerts featuring arena-level acts in Tokyo, Osaka, Rome, Seoul, Las Vegas, and Honolulu, and he has architected successful celebrity-based product launches in Japan and South Korea.
In the Spring of 2011, Adler entered the political arena as a Democratic candidate for the United States House of Representatives in the special election to fill California's 36th Congressional District seat. A political newcomer with no name recognition, fundraising apparatus, or ground team, Adler entered the race on the last day of the filing deadline, then proceeded to out-raise 12 of the other 15 candidates, to prove his command of local and international policy issues, and to embark on a cutting-edge viral media campaign. Capitalizing on his many Hollywood relationships with writers, directors and actors, Adler was able to produce 20 videos in as many days. Several of them formed the basis of a last-minute push on TV and an online campaign that attracted literally global viewership, international press, and millions of dollars worth of mass media coverage. Adler’s campaign was run by renowned actor Sean Astin, and Adler received endorsements from a wide-range of business, Hollywood, and NGO leaders, among them the first-ever letter of endorsement penned by Michael Eisner, which was published on The Huffington Post. Although that campaign was short-lived, Adler remains close to a wide range of elected Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, at the city, county, state, and federal level, as well as with legislators and diplomats from other countries.
Adler led the formation of a 501(c)(3) intended to remind Americans of their shared immigrant heritage. He produced more than a dozen spots for that campaign, titled Welcome.US, featuring some of the most influential Hollywood stars, among them Jeremy Irons, Macy Gray, Chazz Palminteri, Sally Field, Skylar Grey, Jonathan del Arco, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and David Blaine; the campaign was the cornerstone of the inaugural Immigrant Heritage Month, in June of 2014.
Also that year, Adler co-founded E-hydrate, a full line of natural hydration, energy, and recovery products designed for health- and fitness-conscious consumers.
Adler has been profiled or quoted in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Fortune, Variety, The Korea Times, The Telegraph [UK], The Jerusalem Post and Yediot Ahronot [Israel], and other publications, as well as in several books; he has been featured in live broadcasts on CNN and NPR and has been a featured speaker at leading technology conferences in the U.S. and overseas. He is involved in a wide range of charitable and political causes, with particular focus on youth activism, education, and the Middle East. He served as Managing Director of One Laptop per Child’s (i.e. OLPC’s) efforts to bring laptop computers to every child in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. He serves on the boards of directors of the Israel Policy Forum and the Aleph Society; he is on the boards of advisors of Declare Yourself, the Human Rights Action Center, and the Harvard School of Public Health's Center for Health Communication. He is on the National Leadership Council of Communities in Schools, the Next Generation Council of the USC Shoah Foundation, the President’s Advisory Board of the Zimmer Children’s Museum, and the Emeritus Board of Teach For America/ LA. He also is a member of the American Jewish Committee's National Board of Governors and is a Wexner Heritage Foundation Fellow. In December, 2008, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Adler to a two-year term on the California Film Commission.