The media company takes a “substantial” interest in the reality TV guru’s production firm with plans to produce TV shows other programming and events based on Hearst brands.Ã¯Â»Â¿
Hearst Corp. and Mark Burnett today announced that they have formed a long-term media, production and events-based joint venture, with Hearst acquiring a substantial interest in Burnett’s existing production business as part of the new venture. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The new global venture will “focus on media content, producing events around that content, and spinning off television shows and other programming for new and emerging platforms based on Hearst brands, while expanding Burnett’s domestic and international production business,” Hearst said. Scott Sassa, president, Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, will lead the new venture’s board of directors along with Burnett.
Commenting on the announcement, Hearst CEO Frank A. Bennack Jr. said, “The most successful companies are those that can surround the consumer with world-class content based on their brands. We see the media production business as a great opportunity to leverage Hearst’s brands across platforms and continue our move into new businesses. We see this as a growth opportunity for us that diversifies our revenue streams and we are happy to have Mark — a visionary in the reality genre — as a partner.”
Burnett said: “I’m extremely grateful to be partnering with Hearst. ‘Content is King,’ and with more screens needing entertaining content now than at any time in history, that statement is truer than ever. Hearst’s iconic brands will be an incredible creative addition for me…. In fact, we already have great projects in the works.”
Burnett is the leading producer of unscripted television, with shows including Survivor, The Apprentice and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, The People’s Choice Awards, The MTV Movie Awards, Shark Tank and many others series and specials. His upcoming series include The Voice (NBC), Expedition Impossible (ABC) and the Audrina Patridge Show (VH-1). Burnett has produced more than 1,100 hours of programming that regularly airs in more than 70 countries worldwide.