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Montgomery’s new enterprise, with offices in New York and Los Angeles, is called Wheelhouse Entertainment. It will create content and marketing opportunities across multiple business platforms, forging talent-based partnerships and “360 businesses.” Wheelhouse’s first production label, Spoke Studios, has already launched a production partnership with ITV America.
A release noted that Spoke will focus on Spoke Studios’ unique points of view in unscripted programming that spotlights “extraordinary worlds, dynamic characters and human ingenuity.” Those series and projects, as previously acknowledged when Montgomery announced his ITV departure, will be produced by ITV America’s in-house production team.
“After an amazing run at Leftfield and then ITV, I’m thrilled for the opportunity to build something new and disruptive from the ground up,” said Montgomery. “Incorporating everything I’ve learned and experienced as a producer, an entrepreneur, a CEO and an investor, Wheelhouse will concentrate on creating new and alternative business models specifically aimed at solving our clients’ cost challenges, while leveraging the changing and rocky media landscape we are all navigating. We will seek out and broker key talent partnerships that Wheelhouse also will invest in, helping to nurture and market a range of opportunities that fuel our talents’ goals and key businesses, both inside and outside of entertainment.”
Montgomery officially departed his post as CEO of ITV America earlier in January, but he will remain for the coming six months in an advisory role. Longtime lieutenant, and recent ITV America president, has assumed the CEO job. He previously built up production shingle Leftfield Entertainment into a massive enterprise, largely on the heels of boffo reality franchise Pawn Stars, before selling a controlling stake to ITV in 2014 for $360 million.
At Wheelhouse, Montgomery will be joined by fellow ITV departure Ed Simpson. He will serve as chief strategy officer.
Montgomery continued, “This is a business model that demands a stellar and focused team willing to roll up their sleeves, and embrace a maverick approach and risk-taking, balanced with sound strategy and expert execution. In Ed Simpson, I have an unparalleled partner in crime, and will rely on him and ITV America’s new CEO, David George, and Chief Creative Officer Adam Sher, who, together will spearhead the production partnership between Spoke and ITV America. With this dynamic trio and our successful track record of growth at ITV America, our expectations are high, and my excitement to collaborate with them and the extended Wheelhouse team, even higher. I could not be more eager to get started in this second act.”
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