Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Random House Studio Taken Over By Bertelsmann's FremantleMedia

Publishers Lunch

Random House Studio, the eleven-year-old film and television group operated by Penguin Random House, has been "acquired by" and transferred over to FremantleMedia North America, part of PRH parent company Bertelsmann's RTL division. In turn, FMNA has entered into a partnership with Meridian Entertainment, a China-based global content developer that will "work with FMNA and Random House Studio to finance and produce theatrical film projects." FNMA adds that Meridian "will operate and grow the studio's theatrical slate." Meridian chairman Jennifer Dong adds in an announcement, "Meridian has the determination, strength and ability to make full use of the rich and varied content that FremantleMedia and Random House Studio can provide and we will also explore the great potential of the vast Chinese market for our new partners." Random House Studio has had a first-look television deal with Fremantle since 2012.

General manager at Random House Studio Peter Gethers will now report to FMNA co-ceo Craig Cegielski and work with Dong on the theatrical slate. Gethers and his New York team will remain in Random House's office building in New York and "already-established collaborative processes with publishers and editors will remain business as usual." (Gethers will also retain his position as editor-at-large at Knopf Doubleday.)

Gethers said in a statement: "The Random House Studio team has been working with the current team at FMNA for two years now. Thanks to their creativity and support, it has been a perfect partnership. I am thrilled that we will now be a part of that team, allowing us to work even closer together and helping us grow. We're thrilled that FMNA has found such an accomplished strategic partner in Meridian Entertainment to oversee our theatrical output and take us to new heights. Led by the extraordinary Jennifer Dong, Meridian has proven to be the innovative partners we've been looking for. Random House Studio is now truly a full-fledged studio, able to move in any direction that is appropriate to the material we find."

Craig Cegielski, co-ceo at FremantleMedia North America, added: "Peter Gethers and the entire team at Random House Studio are literary visionaries, and the adroit Jennifer Dong and her team at Meridian have built a vibrant company that is well-positioned globally. Our collective ambitions enable us to further harness the voice of the authors, engaging them in all stages of their adaptation and bringing their vision to every media platform worldwide."

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