STAMFORD, CT — Two entertainment companies are planning to move operations to Stamford in the coming months, which combined will create about 450 new jobs in the city, announced Gov. Dannel Malloy Friday.
Award-winning entertainment production group ITV America – the largest independent producer of non-scripted entertainment content in the United States – “will be relocating a significant portion of its business operations to Stamford,” while continuing to also maintain production and office staff in its New York and Los Angeles offices.
Additionally, newly launched Wheelhouse Entertainment, which was founded recently by former ITV America CEO, entrepreneur and media magnate Brent Montgomery, also will be using Stamford as one of its bases of operations. Montgomery, known for hit shows such as “Pawn Stars,” will develop content across different media platforms, writes Variety.
The jobs the two businesses will create in Stamford will be in “finance and operations, production, and post-production, and more,” Malloy said.
The state’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will support the projects with a $6 million loan to ITV America and a $3 million loan to Wheelhouse Entertainment, with partial forgiveness based on jobs created.
DECD funds will be used for the purchase of machinery and equipment and capital improvements, and both companies additionally are eligible for film/digital media production and infrastructure tax incentives, according to state officials.
“Over the last several years, Connecticut has seen significant growth among media production companies, and we are pleased that ITV America and Wheelhouse have decided to establish operations in our state,” said Malloy in a statement. “Connecticut is home to more than 1,200 media-related businesses that employ over 16,000 people. These two nationally renowned production companies plan to create hundreds of good jobs for our state’s residents, and we welcome them to our community.”
Added ITV America CEO David George, “It’s a time of great change and disruption in our industry, and as a leading creator of unscripted content, ITV America is focused on finding innovative ways to keep our business thriving while securing career opportunities for both current and future employees. Our proposed partnership with the State of Connecticut delivers on both fronts – we’re delighted to have worked with the Governor’s office on this plan, which allows us to service many of our current projects while also promoting growth at ITV America. We look forward to putting down roots in Stamford and to being a dynamic part of the community.”
Wheelhouse’s production arm, Spoke Studios, maintains a production partnership with ITV America.
“The cornerstone of entrepreneurship is investing in people whose ideas and hard work create opportunity – precisely what drove Wheelhouse Entertainment to partner with ITV America and Governor Malloy in this venture,” said Montgomery in a statement. “My philosophy has always been to find great people and keep them, and building what we anticipate being one of the top production facilities on the East Coast is another way we aim to recruit and retain the first-class talent that ultimately produces the best programming. This is the first of many projects Wheelhouse and Spoke Studios look forward to with Stamford as we team to cultivate the city as a vibrant center for media and content production.”
Mayor David Martin said he is excited by ITV America’s move to Stamford. “The city had numerous meetings with ITV to discuss why Stamford made sense for the production company and that 860 Canal Street was the right location for them. This move reflects a team approach between the state and the city in helping to relocate and establish companies in Connecticut. I am glad the state came through with the right incentive package, and my administration looks forward to helping ITV complete construction on the building and welcoming the new employees to Stamford as part of our expanding media family.”
Added DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith, “ITV America and Wheelhouse Entertainment will join a growing number of film and digital production companies that have relocated or expanded in Connecticut thanks to Governor Malloy’s leadership.”
About ITV America
ITV America, ITV’s US group of businesses, is the largest independent producer of non-scripted content in the US, producing more than 100 programs, totaling over 800 hours of content, in partnership with more than 40 networks. Series include Fixer Upper (HGTV); Hell’s Kitchen and The Four: Battle for Stardom (FOX); Queer Eye (Netflix); Killing Fields (Discovery); The First 48 (A&E); Tiny House Nation (FYI); The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Bethenny & Fredrik (Bravo); Pawn Stars, Alone and Forged in Fire (History); Keep it Spotless (Nickelodeon) and Cake Boss (TLC). Companies under the ITV America banner include ITV Entertainment, Leftfield Pictures, Loud TV, Outpost Entertainment, Sirens Media, High Noon Entertainment and Thinkfactory Media, as well as numerous talent-driven production partnerships with such luminaries as John Cena, Michael Strahan, Marcia Clark, La La Anthony and others.
About Wheelhouse Entertainment
Wheelhouse Entertainment is a multi-faceted media and entertainment company founded by producer and entrepreneur Brent Montgomery who serves as CEO. Wheelhouse creates content and marketing opportunities across multiple businesses and platforms, forging talent-driven partnerships and “360 businesses” in which the company also invests, and which it helps manage. Under the Wheelhouse Entertainment banner is also Spoke Studios, the company’s first production label, which creates engaging, provocative and talent-driven content across a variety of platforms. Spoke Studios also has entered into a production partnership with entertainment group ITV America, with the companies collaborating on a range of unscripted series and projects to be produced by ITV America’s in-house production team. Prior to forming Wheelhouse Entertainment, Montgomery was CEO of ITV America, a post to which he was named in 2015 following the 2014 acquisition of his company Leftfield Entertainment by multi-national media company ITV. He is a founding member of producers’ association NPACT, and sits on the board of directors of NPACT, the Lincoln Center Media and Entertainment Council, and ITV Global Studios.