FremantleMedia North America is laying off the majority of its U.S. sales
and distribution staff and has set up a distribution and marketing "alliance"
with Tribune Entertainment.
FremantleMedia North America, formerly Pearson
Television North America, is expected to lay off close to 50 employees in its
distribution, research, marketing and ad sales division - most of the jobs
coming from the company's New York headquarters.
FremantleMedia will keep a small development and production wing open in Los Angeles and work with Tribune Entertainment on new developments for network, cable and syndication.
FremantleMedia, which is majority owned by German-based media conglomerate Bertelsmanns AG, was one of the few remaining syndication companies to develop and distribute programming in the U.S. without a station group or cable/broadcast network.
Tribune Entertainment, which has a large ad sales division and station group, will take over distribution of Fremantle's three current first-run syndicated series (Family Feud, To Tell the Truth and Card Sharks) and share in the show's profits with FremantleMedia.
FremantleMedia will continue producing The Price Is Right for CBS.
FremantleMedia CEO Tony Cohen said of the deal with Tribune, "This is an alliance the provides FreemantleMedia with a wonderful opportunity to put its energy, creativity and drive into producing both classic and new hit shows while drawing on the strength and reach of Tribune to take them public." - Joe Schlosser