Going Deeper Into Reality TV, Hearst Buys Stake in 'Say Yes to the Dress' Producer

NorthSouth Productions Is 'Right at the Center of the Burgeoning Reality Comedy Category,' Says Hearst Entertainment President

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Hearst Corp. has acquired a 50% stake in NorthSouth Productions, the producer of reality shows such as "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" on TLC, the upcoming "Impractical Jokes" on TruTV and, with the BBC, "Lovetown, USA" on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Terms were not disclosed.

'Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta'
'Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta' Credit: TLC

Hearst is one of the country's biggest newspaper and magazine publishers, with brands such as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Esquire and Elle. But the power of TV has never been lost on the company, partly because of its 20% stake in cable giant ESPN. Hearst's most-successful newer magazines have also had their roots in TV, including O, The Oprah Magazine; Food Network Magazine; and HGTV Magazine.

Last year Hearst bought a stake in Mark Burnett's reality TV production business and formed a joint venture called One Three Media, which now produces "The Voice" and "Shark Tank."

The NorthSouth stake will become part of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication, where Scott Sassa is president. "NorthSouth is right at the center of the burgeoning TV 'reality comedy' category which is attracting both men and women of all demographics across a number of important and diverse networks," Mr. Sassa said in a statement.

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