Core Media (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance) has acquired Emmy-winning television production company The Intellectual Property Corporation and relaunching immediately as Industrial Media. Eli Holzman, founder and CEO of IPC (Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath), will continue in his role there, while also becoming CEO of Industrial Media. Core Media has been without a CEO since Peter Hurwitz exited last fall.
IPC’s president and co-founder Aaron Saidman will join Holzman at Industrial Media as its president, while also remaining in his current capacity as president of IPC. Core’s executive chairman Dennis Miller will remain as chairman of Industrial Media.
Holzman will lead Industrial Media with plans to grow the company both organically and through strategic acquisitions and investments, with Miller working side-by-side with him in evaluating M&A opportunities. IPC will continue to operate independently alongside the other labels under the Core umbrella: 19 Entertainment; Sharp Entertainment; B-17 Entertainment; and B-17’s newly formed digital studio, Thumb Candy.
The acquisition signals a turnaround for Core after a tumultuous last few years for the company, which had been acquired by Apollo Management in 2011 and folded into Apollo and 21st Century Fox’s joint venture consisting of Shine Group and Endemol in 2014. With its debt mounting, Core filed for bankruptcy in 2016, set a restructuring plan later that year, and filed suit against Apollo and 21st Century Fox.
Core is owned by majority shareholder Crestview Partners, Tennenbaum Capital Partners (both lead lenders, who had approved its restructuring plan) and UTA, which helped relaunch American Idol on ABC. Getting Idol back on the air has boosted Core’s financial prospects.
“Our partners at Crestview, Tennenbaum and UTA, and the CORE management team, especially Dennis Miller and CFO Scott Frosch, and UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer, have done a brilliant job re-fashioning their assets into a creative, nimble, powerfully resourced studio of the future,” said Holzman. “Adding IPC to this group and taking advantage of their extraordinary access to talent and capital is a marvelous opportunity for Aaron and me. In this booming content marketplace, there has never been a greater need for a supplier like Industrial Media that can support exceptional filmmakers while delivering consistently and at the highest quality level for our buyers.”
With the deal, Industrial Media will have more than 40 shows on more than 20 networks under its umbrella, including American Idol for ABC (and its format versions around the world), So You Think You Can Dance for Fox, The Wall for NBC, the 90 Day Fiancé franchise for TLC, Facebook Watch’s daily trivia competition Confetti, and the Emmy-winning Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath for A&E.
“We have reorganized the company, re-invigorated franchises, and set the stage for a new chapter of growth for our assets and investments,” Miller said. “Eli and his team are incredibly forward-thinking and possess all of the skills and vision needed to not only compete but thrive as they lead our business today and in the future marketplace.”
Holzman, who executive produced the Emmy-winning Undercover Boss in his role as president of Studio Lambert USA and All3Media America, launched IPC in January 2016, backed by a trio of private equity investors including former on-screen Undercover Bosses, Sheldon Yellen of Belfor and Michael Rubin of Kynetic.