Relativity TV’s Tom Forman Addresses Staff: "Ignore the Noise" of Bankruptcy

Tom Forman

With series like 'Limitless' and 'Catfish,' the company's TV division becomes one of its prime assets.

In the wake of Relativity Media's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier Thursday, Tom Forman, the CEO of Relativity Television, tried to calm the waters at the embattled company, telling staffers, "ignore the noise" of the bankruptcy proceeding.

In an email to his colleagues in the TV division, Foreman said that "other divisions are undergoing some reorganization and, as a result, some jobs in those divisions have been eliminated. That part is heartbreaking."

"But," he continued, "at Relativity Television, that’s not happening. For us, it’s business as usual. The mission here is to just keep doing what we've been doing — with the team that's been doing it. Quite simply, things in TV don't change as a result of this process." 

With an auction of the company scheduled for October, Relativity's TV division is expected to be one of its most hotly contested assets.

Relativity's new series Limitless, based on the Relativity film of the same name starring Bradley Cooper, is slated to debut on CBS' primetime lineup this fall. Relativity has another show on air in MTV's Catfish and is developing international versions of that show, as well as a sequel called Truce, which is currently in production. Relativity's other current series include History Channel's The Woodsmen, Cooking Channel's Tia Mowry at Home, Esquire's Car Matchmaker and Food Network's Guy's Grocery Games as well as Zoe Saldana Presents My Hero on aol.com, House vs. House on fyi.tv and The American Bible Challenge on GSNTV.com.

Forman warned that the bankruptcy will result in "additional scrutiny by the media and the industry community. Please do what you can to ignore the noise and the press. That's not easy, but the biggest contribution you can make to the company is to keep your head down and continue doing great work. We appreciate it more than you know.

"Lastly, we’d just note that this process is ultimately a good thing for the larger company.  Chapter 11 may sound scary, but many companies have gone through it, and it’s ultimately just a tool for rehabilitating the parent company’s financial position, strengthening the balance sheet, and repositioning Relativity Media for long term growth. That’s a good thing for us."

Concluding, "You guys have proven yourselves, quite literally, indispensable. Thanks for all of it.," the email was signed by Forman, Andrew Marcus and Brad Bishop.

Ryan Kavanaugh's financially embattled studio filed bankruptcy papers earlier today, reporting $100 million to $500 million in assets and between $500 million and $1 billion in liabilities.

The studio is officially up for sale, and Relativity has reached agreement with an entity formed by some of its leading lenders who will become "stalking-horse" bidders in an auction process handled by the Blackstone Group. The auction hopes to close in October.

In a statement Kavanaugh said, "Relativity continues to pursue its mission as a next-generation global media company, and we are firmly committed to our film and television businesses. The actions we are announcing today will protect our valuable franchise and allow us to emerge as a stronger, more focused company."

Under bankruptcy, Relativity will remain in operation but will have its affairs overseen by monitors. 

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