Chrysalis Group, the British music and media company, has pulled together its disparate TV and film-related businesses into a new Visual Entertainment Division, as part of a long-term strategy for expansion in that field.
Michael Pilsworth, formerly managing director of the TV production company SelecTV, has been appointed chief executive of the new division, reporting to the group’s chairman and majority shareholder, Chris Wright.
“Chrysalis is one of the few truly global British-owned media companies: Its name is equallyrecognized in Los Angeles and Tokyo as it is in Europe,” said Pilsworth. “I am very excited at the prospect of leading Chrysalis’ drive into visual entertainment.”
Chrysalis VED includes a TV production company that currently focuses on sports coverage; a TV facilities and outside broadcast business; a homevideo label; and a 50% stake in the increasingly successful film and TV drama producer Red Rooster.
Annual sales for these businesses currently stand at around $ 30 million, out of total group sales of $ 67 million. The company recently appointed Steve Lewis chief exec of its Music Division, and set up a new record label, Echo. The famous Chrysalis Records label itself was sold to EMI Music three years ago.
Pilsworth said his goal was to “expand production as rapidly as possible,” and to get Chrysalis into the TV distribution business, either by acquisition, joint venture or “by organic growth.” His long-term strategy is to use the worldwide clout of the Chrysalis name to produce a substantial library of movies and TV shows that can be exploited on pay TV and pay-per-view.
“Steve Lewis will be generating intellectual property rights in music, and I’ll be doing the same in TV,” he explained.