Hearst Corporation has agreed a deal to acquire 50% of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta (pictured) indie NorthSouth Productions for an undisclosed sum.
The joint venture agreement will see NorthSouth become part of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, which is run by president Scott Sassa and includes ownership in cable networks including A&E, History and ESPN; and a joint venture with Mark Burnett called One Three Media, among other holdings.
“This partnership gives us a significantly stronger presence in cable network production, which is experiencing a steady growth in overall demand,” said Hearst Corporation CEO Frank A. Bennack Jr. in a statement.
“When we first partnered with Mark Burnett in 2011 and entered television production, we had a strategic vision of building a full-service 21st Century production company – NorthSouth is an important piece in furthering this effort.”
NorthSouth was founded by exec producers Charlie DeBevoise and Mark Hickman in 2000, and its other shows include Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids and hidden camera comedy series Impractical Jokers.
The company has corporate offices in New York City and Knoxville, Tennessee, and production facilities in Atlanta and LA.
Sassa said: “NorthSouth is right at the center of the burgeoning television ‘reality comedy’ category which is attracting both men and women of all demographics across a number of important and diverse networks.
“Charlie and Mark have created a growing, all-purpose production company with demonstrated range across various genres. Their company also complements our joint venture with Mark Burnett in One Three Media. All in, this is a great investment for us.”
Hickman added: “It’s amazing to be part of a company that has such a rich history, but it was Hearst’s vision for the future that sold us. Frank, Scott and the Hearst leadership team have an incredible understanding of our industry. That insight and experience is going to be a tremendous asset for NorthSouth to call upon.”