When Reading Rainbow was cancelled in 2009, host LeVar Burton and his business partner, Mark Wolfe, decided they had to do something to save the brand. So, they bought the rights to the name, launched a new company, RRKidz, and created the Reading Rainbow app to make literacy fun for a whole new generation.
And the experience was far from easy, says Burton.
“We really had to learn the business of starting a technology business and figure our way through that — raising money, hiring a team, talking to technologists,” he said in our Media Beat interview. “We’re showbiz guys — my business partner is a film producer and studio executive. And even though we’ve been doing this a long time — we have a combined 65 years of experience in this business — it’s in a different business. We had to put on big boy pants and go to Silicon Valley and talk to those cats and learn their game.”
Part 1: Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton on How to Reach the Digital Generation
Part 3: Wednesday, we discuss Burton’s role in Roots and how he achieved longevity in Hollywood.