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The new studio will be lead by chief creative officer Kathleen Grace, formerly head of creative development at YouTube Space LA, and will make scripted programming for Discovery’s online networks.
The studio will receive less than $5 million in funding a year, according to a report from the New York Times.
Discovery has built up a roster of digital properties. It acquired San Francisco network Revision3 in 2012 for $35 million and launched science-themed TestTube and humor site Animalist in 2013.
“We are excited and proud to have the most accomplished and creative minds in all of film and television investing with us in New Form,” said Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav. “Brian and Ron are best-in-class storytellers, and we look forward to developing compelling programming for today’s digital viewers. This creative powerhouse, coupled with Discovery’s strong programming expertise and our ability to engage viewers across our global platforms, is an unparalleled combination.”
Grazer added, “Technology is rapidly changing the entertainment landscape for studios, producers and audiences, and Ron and I could not think of a better partner to invest with than Discovery to expand beyond film and television and enter into the digital frontier.”
Grazer and Howard noted in the Times report that their involvement in the studio would be limited. Others involved include attorney Craig Jacobson, former Tribune Broadcasting president Ed Wilson, former William Morris CEO Jim Wiatt, Imagine co-chairman Michael Rosenberg and CAA.
Noted Howard, “By investing with Discovery, New Form is poised to re-imagine storytelling and reach new audiences online and beyond.”
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