Interview with: Douglas S. Bennett, President and CFO - featuring: their four operating divisions: National Lampoon Network, Entertainment Division, Publishing Division and Licensing Division.

National Lampoon, Inc. (NLN-AMEX)

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Now National Lampoon is more than just a funny magazine, focusing on their book publishing while adding a college television network, internet content and radio programming

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National Lampoon, Inc.

8228 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Phone: 310-474-5252

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Douglas S. Bennett
President and CFO

Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
June 29, 2006

Douglas S. Bennett, President & CFO

Mr. Bennett has over 25 years of experience in managing businesses in the media and publishing space. He is currently the President & CFO for National Lampoon, Inc. National Lampoon is one of the most recognized brands in the comedy and entertainment industry today. Prior to this he was the President of iUniverse, Inc., the largest independent publisher in the United States. iUniverse produced over 5,000 titles a year all via the internet. Prior to this he was the Chairman & CEO of EoExchange, Inc., an internet search engine business from 1992 until 2000 Mr. Bennett worked for Macmillan Publishing, the largest computer book and reference publisher in the world. He started with Macmillan in the software and internet piece of the business and eventually became the President of the entire Macmillan Publishing business.

Company Profile:
National Lampoon, Inc. (AMEX: NLN) is active in a broad array of entertainment segments, including feature films, television programming, interactive entertainment, home video, audio CDs and book publishing. The Company also owns interests in all major National Lampoon properties, including National Lampoon's Animal House, the National Lampoon Vacation series and National Lampoon's van Wilder. The National Lampoon Network serves over 600 colleges and universities throughout the United States. The network reaches as many as 4.8 million students, or nearly one in four of all 18 to 24 year old college students. In addition, the Company operates a,, the modern-day successor to the legendary National Lampoon magazine, plus the National Lampoon Humor Network and, its first broadband, video-on-demand service, on the Internet. The Company has four operating divisions: National Lampoon Network, Entertainment Division, Publishing Division and Licensing Division.

CEOCFO: Mr. Bennett, what attracted you to the company?
Mr. Bennett: “The gentleman that actually led the takeover of National Lampoon back in May of 2002 was an acquaintance of mine back in my days of living in Indianapolis, when I used to run Macmillan Publishers Limited. He told me that he had the opportunity to take over what was a large media brand that had not done a lot in the media business in terms of new content for quite some time. I said, ‘well who is that’? He said it was National Lampoon and I said, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’. I thought that was a huge company and he said ‘no, they have basically just done a few movies over the last ten years and have been living off the royalties’. I went down to help them out, get started back up, and develop a publishing program. Therefore, it was an acquaintance that got me involved with the company by the name of Daniel S. Laikin, who is now our CEO. He and I formed the management company that for the last four years have been reenergizing the brand National Lampoon to bring it back to being the media business that it once was. That is what really attracted me to it; the chance to use a lot of my experience that I had from my publishing career back to what was a venerable brand.”

CEOCFO: You have launched a new book publishing division, will you tell us about that?
Mr. Bennett: “National Lampoon Press is our first foray back into publishing since the mid 1990’s; the magazine was published up until about 1995 or 1996. At that point, it was only once a year, so it hadn’t been a monthly publishing since the late 80’s. We looked at how we started and publishing is what created the stories that created Animal House, Vacation, and Christmas Vacation. All of those movies came out of stories that were in the magazine. We thought that now that we had our feet under us as a management team that we knew where the opportunities existed. We looked at the magazine business first and found that it was cost prohibitive and that the market changed drastically since the days when National Lampoon was at its peak in the 1970’s and 1980’s. However, when we looked at book publishing we saw an opportunity to do what we wanted to do, which was put out 10 or 12 titles a year much like a monthly magazine. In addition, this would allow our contributors, our writers and all of our writing staff the creative opportunity to create content, not only in print but online, and hopefully act as the impetus for us to do future television and film projects.”

CEOCFO: Who is the target audience?
Mr. Bennett: “Before Dan took over the company, he ran a brand survey with Interbrand Corporation and found out that at the time, National Lampoon had a 93% brand recognition with males between the age of 15 and 50. We further progressed that study and found on college campuses, we had a 96% brand recognition. What was interesting about that was that 68% of that sampling knew us for general comedy, which means they remembered our movies. Only 18% even remembered we had a magazine, which means that is the older demographics. Our primary pursuit today, is the 18-24, 18-34 year-old audience; college and right out of college.”

CEOCFO: How are you going to reach them with the new venture?
Mr. Bennett: “We have several platforms to reach that audience. We currently have a college television network called National Lampoon College that features over 600 universities, close to five million students and we will be doing a lot of advertising on National Lampoon College related to our different publishing ventures, different books that we have coming out. We also have a really exciting venture that we just launched called, TOGATV.COM, which is our broadband effort. It primarily is our National Lampoon College programming or content, ported over to broadband. We have found that kids wanted to watch our programming at odd hours and this was a perfect way of doing it. is also featuring the book prominently on the site. Therefore, we will be using these vehicles to advertise our first book coming out called, The Saddam Dump; it is a satire or parody of Saddam sitting in his jail cell doing a blog. We have a dancing Saddam that we are putting out on the web in a viral nature, but then we will also be doing a version of that on TOGATV.COM. We will use our broadband effort, our websites and of course we also have a National Lampoon radio, which we are putting together two and three-hour segments; it runs on XM satellite and other terrestrial based radio stations. We will advertise our books there as well.”

CEOCFO: Will the books be in bookstores or for sale online?
Mr. Bennett: “Both. We will be in Barnes & Nobles (NYSE: BKS), Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE: BGP), Hastings Entertainment (NASDAQ: HAST), and hopefully Target Corporation and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) as well as in independent and college bookstores. We will be in the traditional method of purchasing books, but also have it in (NASDAQ: AMZN) etc. We will also have it on our website, so there will be plenty of places to find our products.”

CEOCFO: Will you tell us about your new philosophy?
Mr. Bennett: “In the 1970’s, National Lampoon was known for its irreverent cutting-edge comedy in taking on institutions, anti-establishment, very 70’s as well as a lot of nudity. It had its place for its time. In all of our research, we have found that National Lampoon today is more known as general comedy, more college based humor. There is some nudity but only as an accident as opposed to a ‘girls gone wild’ situation. We are more about Chevy Chase and the comedy of Vacation movies. We are still irreverent satire but not always trying to take on everything and everybody. College kids today go for that sophomoric humor. We will take on institutions, but we are going to have fun with it. The fact that we have our first book coming out of Saddam blogging in a jail cell is very National Lampoon. The comments that he makes and so on, are not trying to take on every political establishment and every cultural event, it is more just comedy.”

CEOCFO: You just announced an alliance with Ckrush (OTC: CKRH), will you tell us about that and what you see in the future in terms of partnerships?
Mr. Bennett: “We are hoping to work together on developing and producing some films together. We plan on utilizing our content and outside content. We have several partnerships like this, but this is one we are particularly excited about. We will continue to put together these kinds of relationships whereby we have outside parties that we partner with that have more experience in actually producing and developing different products such as films, but then we will enhance it by adding the creative element of our creative writing staff. We will be involved in that creativity aspect and will bring expertise to the production assets of any venture that we do. That is what this one is.”

CEOCFO: How large a part of National Lampoon will your book publishing be?
Mr. Bennett: “There are three primary elements that we believe are going to drive National Lampoon now and in the future. There is one that has not been launched yet and we are working on it and that is that we hope at some point to have our own 24-hour cable channel; something along the lines of Comedy Central. We think there is room for more than one comedy channel. There are multiple men’s channels, multiple outdoor channels, but there is only one comedy channel, and we feel that National Lampoon has a very strong brand that we feel could carry a second channel. Publishing is another major deal for us because it relates to what we are trying to accomplish and getting content, giving a creative outlet for our writers and contributors, and hopefully use it as a basis to come up with new ideas for new products. Finally, there is media, which relates to our efforts on broadband, and as well as our National Lampoon College as it relates to our college television. Media to us is business that is supported by ad and sponsorship dollars. Those are our three primary drivers for the business.”

CEOCFO: Will you tell us about the financial picture?
Mr. Bennett: “We are still a small company and very proud of the fact that we have doubled our revenues every year ever since new management has been in place. We have a long way to go in terms of being where we want to be and making a presence in the media stage. When you consider the fact that we are not a big conglomerate, we are doing it on resources that have been provided by our secondary offering as well as funds that have been generated from our initial investors that helped buy out the company, which is even more of an accomplishment. We are excited about what we are doing. We now believe that we finally have the basics in place that will allow revenues to grow at a faster clip than they are today. The proof is in the pudding. Between publishing what we are doing on the internet today, and hopefully what happens on the cable channel; all of those things bode well for our financial picture.”

CEOCFO: In closing, why is this a good time for potential investors to be interested and what should people realize about the company that doesn’t jump off the page?
Mr. Bennett: “What investors may not know is that the last four years we have spent a lot of time and effort with our heads down, building the basic building blocks for a business. We put the organization in place, we believe we have the products in development; the products coming online that all the hard work we put in over the last four years are going to finally start to pay off. We are not using our dollars any longer to build out infrastructure, we are using our dollars now to build out new product and that is not easily recognizable as it relates to our financials. Again, we have a lot of work to do and there are a lot of good things going on. As far as a new investor in our company, I think you have to have a long-term approach to us. We have a lot of great things, but in the entertainment industry and the media space in general, sometimes some of these movies and television products are coming on line but you don’t really start seeing the revenue for 12-18 months afterwards, so this is a long-term investment. Long-term, I believe in the next 3-5 years, we are really going to see the benefits.”


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“What investors may not know is that the last four years we have spent a lot of time and effort with our heads down, building the basic building blocks for a business. We put the organization in place, we believe we have the products in development; the products coming online that all the hard work we put in over the last four years are going to finally start to pay off. We are not using our dollars any longer to build out infrastructure, we are using our dollars now to build out new product and that is not easily recognizable as it relates to our financials.” - Douglas S. Bennett does not purchase or make
recommendation on stocks based on the interviews published.