Sony Pictures Television has closed a deal to acquire Industrial Media, the TV production company that owns American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, among other properties.
The deal values Industrial Media at $350 million, Variety reports. Once the deal is done, Sony Pictures will acquire a majority controlling interest in Industrial Media but the studio declined to reveal its ownership percentage.
Industrial Media’s production companies include 19 Entertainment (co-producers of American Idol and SYTYCD), B17 Entertainment, House of NonFiction, Sharp Entertainment, the Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC), This Machine Filmworks, This Radicle Act and Trilogy Films.
Eli Holzman, Industrial Media CEO and founder/CEO of IPC, will join Sony Pictures Television as president of nonfiction entertainment upon closing, reporting to Ravi Ahuja, chairman of global television studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment corporate development. Aaron Saidman, according to Variety.
Holzman’s longtime producing partner who is Industrial Media president and IPC co-founder and president, will join the company as co-president, nonfiction entertainment, reporting to Holzman. He and Saidman will oversee day-to-day operations of Sony Pictures Television Nonfiction.
Industrial Media was formed as a result of Crestview Partners and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock acquiring CORE Media Group in 2016, with UTA subsequently taking a stake in the company and advising on its turnaround.
19 Entertainment has a long and tortuous history. American Idol creator Simon Fuller owned the company, until he sold it off in the mid-aughts. In 2016, after FOX canceled American Idol, he tried to force CORE into bankruptcy, in order to regain control. But the plan backfired on him and he was forced out of the company all together, losing his 10% interest in both Idol and SYTYCD.
These days Fuller produces music content on Tik Tok, where he finding and cultivating new, young talent.