Media company Hearst Corporation and unscripted reality producer Mark Burnett have teamed up to form a long-term media, production and events-based joint venture.
Hearst has acquired a “substantial” interest in Burnett’s production business as part of the new venture, although financial terms were not disclosed.
The global venture’s main focus will be on media content; producing events around that content; and spinning off TV shows and other programming for new and emerging platforms based on Hearst brands. Burnett’s own domestic and international production business will also be expanded as part of the deal.
Scott Sassa, president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, will take the lead on the new venture’s board of directors alongside Burnett.
In a statement, Hearst CEO Frank A Bennack Jr. said: “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.”
Sassa added: “This venture provides Mark a platform and freedom to continue and grow his unique type of innovation. Together, we have a vision to create shows that have 360-degree businesses built around them. We will create businesses around every screen that are both in- and out-of-home experiences, and linear and interactive in nature.”
Finally, Burnett said: “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 and will translate perfectly into the vision for the future that Frank, Scott and I all share. In fact, we already have great projects in the works.”