CANNES – Global production powerhouse FremantleMedia announced it has acquired a 60 percent share of international transmedia and branded entertainment prodco @radical.media. The announcement was made during FME’s annual MIPCOM press breakfast by FremantleMedia CEO Tony Cohen and @radical.media chairman/CEO Jon Kamen.
The deal marks a major move by FremantleMedia into the branded entertainment space, an area that Kamen and @radical have dealt in for years. The company, bicoastal in the U.S. and with offices in Berlin, Australia and Shanghai, has been behind the long-running Iconoclasts series airing on The Sundance Channel and sponsored by Grey Goose as well as the recent Summit on the Summit on MTV that was sponsored by HP among other brands. The company is currently producing two shows on the slate for the Oprah Winfrey Network as well as several other cable series. @radical.media has also worked successfully in the theatrical doc field, with Joe Berlinger’s Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and Crude and Errol Morris’ Fog of War among its productions. The pilot of Mad Men was also an @radical production.
‘@radical.media’s reputation and relationships with the world’s leading advertising agencies, their clients and broadcast partners, combined with their strong creative profile and in-house talents, allows both organizations to develop more on- and off-screen content for broadcasters and brands,’ said Cohen.
The companies have had a working relationship since 2008, with FremantleMedia Enterprises distributing Iconoclasts, the special Britney: For the Record and ESPN table tennis tourney Hardbat Classic.
Kamen, part of the advisory panel behind realscreen‘s upcoming Branded Entertainment Forum in October, said the pairing was ‘a great match’ for an era when ‘the media industry is truly transforming itself.’ Cohen agreed, saying that branded entertainment ‘is only going to get bigger as time goes on… it’s moving that way very rapidly.’ The companies are already in the development process on some new properties but Kamen wouldn’t say which brands, if any, might be involved.
MORE FREMANTLE NEWS FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) also unveiled several of the new programs it’s bringing to market. The slate features programming from nine different countries, with the new, 12-part Oliver Stone factual series The Untold History of the United States set to make a splash in Cannes. The director will be discussing the series at a special MIPCOM interview tomorrow conducted by Sir David Frost. Other programs brought to MIPCOM by FremantleMedia include My Name Is (a music impersonation competition show originally known as My Name Is Michael), Total Blackout (the first fruits of a Creative Exchange Alliance between FremantleMedia and Japanese commercial broadcaster Fuji Television), You Can’t Take it With You (a ‘truly emotional journey’ in the words of Rob Clark, president of global entertainment for FremantleMedia, which examines families coming to grips with wills) and the Magical Elves/Pretty Matches art competition series Work of Art.