×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Core Media acquires Sharp reality shop

Deal furthers Core's expansion of production operations

Advancing its plan to expand aggressively in TV production, Core Media Group has acquired Gotham-based Sharp Entertainment.

The reality production shop is home to such skeins as Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food,” TLC’S “Extreme Couponing,” National Geographic Channel’s “Doomsday Preppers” and Animal Planet’s “Call of the Wildman.” Deal was unveiled Monday by Core Media prexy Marc Graboff and Sharp prexy and founder Matt Sharp.

Deal gives Core Media, formerly known as CKX, the ability to develop and produce programming from scratch. Sharp owns significant post-production infrastructure and its in biz with a range of cable networks.

Expanding Core’s reach in production has been a key focus for Graboff since he joined the company in January. CKX was acquired last year by private equity giant Apollo Global Management, which recruited Graboff to build up its operations. CKX had operated as a holding company for disparate assets such as 19 Entertainment, a producer of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” and the rights to market the name and likenesses of Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali. It is no secret that Core is among the companies in the hunt for Dick Clark Prods., which was put on the block by parent company Red Zone Capital last month.

Sharp Entertainment “is the first wholly owned asset that gives us instantaneous capability to produce television,” Graboff told Variety. “Now we have the people and the facilities and the equipment to go from idea to delivery of content without having to go outside of the company.”

Sharp will retain its moniker and maintain separate offices from Core, with Matt Sharp remaining as CEO. Core is in the process of building up its internal roster of development execs and deals with outside producers. Not everything Core develops will be produced through Sharp but it was important to Graboff for the company to establish a basic production infrastructure to give it more flexibility in selling shows to networks.

At the same time, Core wants to leverage the brand name that Sharp has built in the cable realm.

“Our business strategy is not to homogenize any of the unique brands that we acquire,” Graboff said. “Matt has built a nice brand in the cable world and we’d be foolish to lose that identify. Our job is to help grow the companies we acquire. We’re the hub and Sharp is one of our spokes.”

Sharp Entertainment has produced more than 1,000 hours of programming since its inception in 2003. Graboff said the company was attractive to Core in part because it has a range of programming within the unscripted genre. As Core expands its production and distribution reach, the goal is to help Sharp own outright more of the programs it produces and to better exploit them through licensing, merchandising and international sales.

“Our partnership with Core Media will broaden our opportunities to exploit and distribute our products by aligning us with a company that is rapidly expanding, hungry for new business and nimble enough to get deals done, all the while allowing us to continue to focus on what we do best, which is produce great content for an array of networks and audiences,” Sharp said.

More TV

  • Apple Park Visitor Center sign

    Apple Ready to Raise Curtain on Video, TV and News Subscription Service

    The day has nearly arrived for Apple to show the world whether there’s any fire behind the smoke of its streaming service. Apple has kept a tight lid on most of the details of its upcoming service, even keeping its creative partners in the dark about how exactly their work will be distributed. What is [...]

  • Fox Layoffs

    Disney-21st Fox Layoffs: TV Divisions Brace for Deep Cuts

    A second day of mass layoffs has begun on the Fox lot in the wake of Disney completing its acquisition of 21st Century Fox on Wednesday. Longtime 20th Century Fox Television Distribution president Mark Kaner is among the senior executives who were formally notified with severance details on Friday morning. 21st Century Fox’s international TV [...]

  • Barry Manilow illustration by Ben Kirchner

    Barry Manilow Reflects on Early Career, New York Talent Show 'Callback,' and Featherbed

    Barry Manilow’s place as one of America’s best-loved entertainers was secured decades ago, but the 75-year-old shows no signs of resting on his laurels, which include nearly 50 top 40 hits, beaucoup gold and platinum albums, sold-out tours, an Emmy, a Grammy, a Tony and a Clio. His 21st century accomplishments include more SRO dates, [...]

  • This image taken from the Twitter

    HBO’s Reaction to Trump’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Campaign

    Everyone wants a piece of the “Game of Thrones” lemon cake. From Bud Light to Red Bull the world of Westeros is open to a lot of brand partnerships, unless you’re using that iconic typeface to push a political agenda. In November of 2018 President Donald Trump unveiled a “Thrones” inspired poster with the words [...]

  • Jeff Goldblum performs in a sketch

    Inside the High-Pressure World of Late-Night Talk-Show Prop Demands

    Television production is an area where “Hurry up and wait” is a common refrain. However, for the prop teams that work on late-night talk shows like “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” that’s not an option. They typically have only a matter of hours to deliver what’s necessary. Lou A. [...]

  • Series Mania Marks 10th Anniversary with

    Series Mania Marks 10th Anniversary With Star-Studded Return to Lille

    Series Mania will present a starry tableau for its 10th anniversary, as it returns to Lille for the second time at the end of March. Ava DuVernay and Greg Berlanti’s CBS anthology series “The Red Line” is set to open the French TV festival, and Amazon’s “Hanna,” featuring “The Killing” stars Joel Kinnaman and Mireille [...]

  • Gabrielle Union

    10 Things We Learned at Variety’s 2019 Entertainment Marketing Summit

    Variety’s 2019 Entertainment Marketing Summit, which brought top execs to Hollywood’s NeueHouse on Thursday, covered considerable ground. From cutting through the noise in an oversaturated media landscape to welcoming exciting technology like virtual reality, industry veterans offered insight into what to expect from the marketing world in coming years. Here are 10 things we learned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content