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Saban Capital adds to digital media group

The Haim Saban-led investment firm has hired former Blueprint Ventures principal Richard Yen to help direct its expansion into non-traditional media.

Saban Capital Group has added former Blueprint Ventures principal and startup veteran Richard Yen to its venture capital and digital media unit, continuing the Los Angeles-based firm’s drive into non-traditional media.

Yen, a UC Berkeley engineering graduate who helped establish Blueprint’s own digital media investing practice over the last four years, will report to former Boost Mobile co-founder Chris Cooper, whom Saban Capital tapped just last March to head the burgeoning group.

Prior to joining Blueprint, Yen was a software and wireless investment consultant at Santa Monica-based Rustin Canyon Partners, where he sourced and performed due diligence on various early stage venture deals.

At the peak of the dot-com boom, Yen worked as the director of technology for financial services internet startup Shockmarket, where he headed the software development team.

Founded in 2001 by television mogul Haim Saban, Saban Capital was part of the private equity consortium that purchased Spanish-language television network Univision for $3.85 billion in 2006. The firm put up $250 million of the tab.

Along with News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch, Haim Saban founded the Fox Family channel in 1995 and sold it six years later to Disney for $5.2 billion. Saban Capital Group was formed shortly thereafter.

In addition to Univision, Saban Capital’s current portfolio includes Israeli television network Keshet Broadcasting, Israeli telecom provider Bezeq and New York-based online video production company Next New Networks.

Saban Capital also controls the publishing catalog of music from several television shows, including Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Spider-Man and Inspector Gadget.