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Cleveland online show provider buys American Sheriff Network | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

TruBlu, a paid online streaming service located in downtown Cleveland, has hiked its library with the purchase of the American Sheriff Network.

The TruBlu service, which is dedicated to true-crime drama, is located in the Idea Center, 1375 Euclid Ave., where it shares space with a sister company, documentary maker Transition Studios. The companies share a true-crime focus.

Shawn Rech, president of TruBlu, said in a phone interview that the deal is the largest of his career and is a case of a foundling buying the established company.

The 6-month-old streaming service, which costs viewers $4.99 a month, acquired the network and intellectual property of Phoenix-based American Sheriff Network, which was launched two years ago by Mark Lamb, the high-profile sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona. Lamb, a Republican, is putting his efforts into being elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona.

Lamb, known for a no-nonsense, law-and-order mantra and a tough stance on undocumented immigrants, launched the network to provide a voice for law enforcement officers who seek to serve the community. Neither Lamb nor his agent returned an email about the sale.

The deal adds 57 episodes to TruBlu. The episodes follow sheriff’s staffs in various locations fighting crime, with Lamb discussing the justice system with local officers.

Rech said TruBlu plans to add more content to the network. He declined to disclose terms of the transaction or how many subscribers the acquisition added to his firm.

Customers of American Sheriff Network have recently criticized the service online for failing to add episodes and promptly remove their credit cards after they discontinue their service. Rech said TruBlu will work to rectify those concerns.

TruBlu was launched by Rech and TV reporter Chris Hansen, its co-founder, as a boutique streaming service for crime documentaries.

Hansen, who starred in the series “To Catch a Predator” on network television, now creates similar episodes in a series called “Takedown with Chris Hansen.”

Rech said he expects to add six staffers here to accommodate the additional content.

Rech said TruBlu is “nearly profitable.” He declined to disclose the size of its current subscriber list, which is fulfilled through an online app.

Rech said TruBlu has multiple investors from the Cleveland area and that there is a short-term reason and long-term goal for the company.

On one level, providing its own boutique streaming service is a way to counter what Rech called low payment levels for documentaries paid by major streaming services.

The long-term goal is to create stable jobs for people producing documentaries and operating the streaming service in Cleveland, he said, instead of just getting hired as contractors for out-of-town firms shooting locally.

“We want to provide an opportunity for talent to have an opportunity to earn a fair wage, get a mortgage and own a home, which you can’t do (easily) with a contracting job,” Rech said.

Transition Studios now has a staff of 40. It opened the suite of studios in 2021 at the Idea Center to be near Cleveland State University. Transition Studios has drawn notice for documentaries such as “White Boy,” about a 17-year-old drug dealer in 1980s-era Detroit, and “A Murder in the Park.”

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