NorthSouth shows include TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress." (TLC )
Hearst Corp. continued its push to become a force in unscripted programming.
The media conglomerate struck an agreement to acquire a 50% stake in NorthSouth Productions, whose television credits include "Say Yes to the Dress." Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"This partnership gives us a significantly stronger presence in cable network production, which is experiencing a steady growth in overall demand,” said Hearst Chairman Frank Bennack.
Although Hearst is still best known as a newspaper and magazine publisher, it has ownership stakes in cable networks A&E, History, Lifetime and ESPN. It also owns 29 television stations that reach almost 20% of the United States.
The NorthSouth investment comes just a year after Hearst formed a joint venture with reality TV producer extraordinaire Mark Burnett ("Survivor") to create new unscripted TV shows.
NorthSouth Productions has made shows for many cable channels, including Discovery, TruTV and TLC, as well as channels in which Hearst has stakes. The company has offices in New York and Knoxville, Tenn.
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