Weinstein Company exploring options for TV unit, says COO

Following reports that TWC is looking into selling its TV production unit, the company confirms to realscreen that it is "in the early stages of conversations" concerning options, including strategic partnerships with digital providers. (Pictured: Harvey Weinstein)
July 4, 2014

David Glasser, COO of The Weinstein Company, has weighed in on a New York Times report from this week which stated that the company is looking into selling its TV unit, and tells realscreen that a number of discussions are underway to determine its future.

“We’ve been approached by a number of parties and are in the early stages of conversation,” said Glasser on Thursday in a phone interview, stating unequivocally that “The Weinstein Company is a content business.

“We’ve been approached by digital providers looking to ramp up content in a strategic partnership and some potential investors, but talks have been vague to this point.”

Citing sources in an article that was referenced by several publications, The Times reported that the privately owned Weinstein Company was considering its TV unit for a potential spinoff, sale or an IPO, and Glasser admitted some of the speculation made sense.

He cited the company’s reality TV series as a particularly robust area of Weinstein Company business, mentioning that Project Runway alone has tendered two spinoffs, including Lifetime’s Project Runaway All-Stars and another also just greenlit for Lifetime, Threads, an eight-episode teen and tween fashion designer series hosted by Vanessa Simmons and designer Christian Siriano that’s co-produced by The Weinstein Company, Full Picture and Sara Rea Productions.

The Times reported Wednesday that, according to sources, company principal Harvey Weinstein (pictured) is seeking a cash infusion in order to expand with one or more TV channels, growing the small-screen unit that was launched in 2011 with ex-Miramax co-president Meryl Poster.

According to the Times, the television unit of TWC, which produces more than 20 reality series, including VH1′s  Mob Wives, A&E’s Cement Heads and Lifetime’s Million Dollar Shoppers, accounts for 40 percent of the company’s business.

Glasser says TWC, which recently bought the North American rights to the BBC talker The Graham Norton Show,  is entering the scripted TV content arena with upcoming series such as Netflix’s Marco Polo and WGN’s The Ten Commandments.

“Scripted content is our long-term future,” he said.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.