SOURCE: Hearst Corporation; Mark Burnett

Hearst Corporation; Mark Burnett

April 11, 2011 09:58 ET

Hearst Corporation and Mark Burnett Create Long-Term Media, Production & Events-Based Joint Venture

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 11, 2011) - Hearst Corporation 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. The announcement was made by Frank A. Bennack, Jr., CEO of Hearst Corporation, and Mark Burnett. 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. Scott Sassa, president, Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, will lead the new venture's board of directors along with Burnett.

Commenting on the announcement, Bennack 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."

"Survivor is to nonfiction what I Love Lucy is to sitcoms; it is the starting point for all of today's storyline-based unscripted shows," Sassa said. "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."

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 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."

Burnett is the leading producer of unscripted television, with shows ranging from Survivor, The Apprentice and Are You Smarter Than a 5thGrader? to The People's Choice Awards, The MTV Movie Awards, Shark Tank and many other 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.

About Mark Burnett
Since 2001, Burnett's series have been nominated for 67 Emmy Awards and he has personally won three, along with four People's Choice Awards. In 2007, Burnett was elected into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. In 2009, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2010 Burnett received the Norman Lear Achievement Award from the Producers Guild of America. In addition, Burnett has been named one of Time magazine's World's Most Influential People, has received BRANDWEEK's "Marketer of the Year" award, and has been named a TV Guide Most Valuable Player.

About Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified media companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 38 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; nearly 200 magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18% of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, History and ESPN; as well as business publishing, including a minority joint venture interest in Fitch Ratings; Internet and marketing services businesses, television production, newspaper features distribution and real estate.

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