Newly Formed Independent Distribution Company Combines Rich Catalogs of all Genres of Finished Programs & Proven Formats
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Gary R. Benz, CEO of GRB Studios and Sophie Ferron, CEO of Media Ranch announce they have entered into a Joint Venture partnership to create a premiere independent distribution organization. The new entity will combine the extensive content catalogs and proven formats, coupled with the years of entertainment business experience of both companies and principals to create an entity with a broader reach and a deeper catalog than the two partners have individually. The company, GRB Media Ranch, will have a portfolio that includes over 5,000 hours of factual, unscripted, and scripted programming as well as a multitude of formats in all genres.
Both companies will retain their separate production and creative businesses. Creative and original production for GRB Studios will remain solely with GRB under the management of Gary R. Benz while Media Ranch’s original IP and format development, including current paper formats, and incubator Horsepower will remain solely with Media Ranch, under the management of Sophie Ferron and with Media Ranch’s Philip Kalin-Hajdu, Head of Development and Storytelling.
The two companies have a combined 50+ years in the international content sector, with award-winning programming such as GRB’s Untold Stories of the E.R.; Icons Unearthed series: The Simpsons, Marvel, Star Wars, etc.; On the Case, among others, and GRB is the producer of megahit, Emmy Award-winning Intervention. Media Ranch distributes over 150 formats, including Round Table from Wonwoo Park (creator of Masked Singer), Watch, and hits such as Surprise surprise, Comedy on the Edge, Rose D’or winning Street Jungle, and many more.
Both Benz and Ferron have been active on the international trade circuit, speaking at MIPCOM, NATPE, Realscreen and other events. Ferron is an Advisory Member of FRAPA and the International Emmys org, and Benz is currently a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts and the Board Chairman for the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc.
Under the leadership of both Benz and Ferron, the team will include personnel from both partners handling distribution. From GRB: Liz Levenson will cover Africa, Middle East, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe while Torquil Macneal will cover APAC; Janel Downing will cover Latin America; From Media Ranch: Tanja van der Goes will cover Europe for formats; Alexa Jorizzo will cover Europe and Canada for finished programs.
Benz stated: “Sophie and I have known each other for over 10 years, partnering on various inspiring projects. Our companies and visions complement each other well, and we bring our creativity to deal-making into the evolving business of the content industry. Our joint venture is a natural and logical next step in our relationship to build a super independent distribution organization. Together, we will expand our global reach even further.”
Ferron added: “Gary and I have two strong teams that will become a unified and stellar sales force. We are eager to contribute our skills to the new entity and reach even greater heights. The goal is to become an international distribution powerhouse offering a comprehensive marketing approach from formats to finished programs in all genres.”
SOURCE GRB Media Ranch