Bill has been a leader in the media, entertainment and communications industries for more than 35 years. Today Bill is Chief Executive Officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul and founder and chairman of the Humpty Dumpty Institute, Chicken Soup for the Soul’s charitable partner.
Bill grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and completed his undergraduate studies at Colby College, where today he is a trustee emeritus. He earned his J.D. at Georgetown Law School. As a young entertainment and finance lawyer, Bill represented Blake Edwards and developed new film financing models that have become the industry standards. In the 1980s, he founded and ran a merchant bank where he bought and sold media companies and other properties including Virgin Vision, a Virgin Group worldwide film distribution venture. Through one of the merchant bank’s companies, film production company MCEG, he executive produced, financed and/or distributed major motion pictures such as Look Who’s Talking and You Can’t Hurry Love. Later, Bill was founder and CEO of Winstar Communications, a wireless broadband pioneer, and Winstar New Media, one of the earliest online content companies.
In 2008, Bill, along with his wife, Amy Newmark, and Robert D. Jacobs, led a team of investors who acquired Chicken Soup for the Soul from founders Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson. Since taking the helm in 2008, Bill and Amy have revitalized the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand and expanded the company’s offerings to better serve its loyal fans and the public at large.
Bill is passionate about global development and peacekeeping. As Vice Chairman of the United Nations Association, Bill helped lead inspection tours of U.N. peacekeeping operations. As a director of Business Executives for National Security, he advised the U.S. government and military on how to apply best practices from the business world to foreign and domestic security issues. In 1998, Bill co-founded the Humpty Dumpty Institute, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating innovative and strategic public/private partnerships that provide sensible solutions to humanitarian and development challenges.
Bill and his wife are the proud parents of four grown children. He is co-executive producing the Chicken Soup for the Soul television series with his son, Tim Rouhana, and he works daily with his wife, Amy Newmark, publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul.