Jun 14, 2022 - Economy

Washington Post inks major video deal with Imagine Entertainment

Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Washington Post and Imagine Entertainment have struck a multi-year deal to create scripted and non-scripted film and TV content based on the Post's vast archives, current reporting and ongoing investigations.

Why it matters: It's the Post's first major move into premium video.

Details: The first-look deal gives Imagine exclusive rights to develop and produce all projects based on the Washington Post's intellectual property.

  • Washington Post publisher and CEO Fred Ryan will oversee the deal with Imagine Entertainment executive chairman Brian Grazer chief strategy officer Justin Wilkes, per a statement.
  • CAA, which brokered the partnership, will help the Post and Imagine develop new content across different filmed formats.

The big picture: The Post's rich history has long been used to produce blockbuster movies about everything from Watergate to the Pentagon Papers.

  • Now, the company is strengthening its relationship with Hollywood in a way that allows it to financially benefit from those types of projects.
  • "Whether it’s holding the powerful to account or shedding light on an exceptionally compelling narrative, we see tremendous untapped potential for extending the reach of our journalism," Ryan said in a statement.

Between the lines: The Post has increased its investments in video over the past few years, producing livestreams for most major political and national events and pouring heavy resources into beefing up its social video presence on apps like TikTok and YouTube.

  • It's also produced a slew of short-form documentaries, sometimes with the support of outside partners.
  • This partnership significantly expands the Post's presence on TV and film, as opposed to mostly digital video investments to date.
  • It also adds to the long list of the Post's recent expansion projects into areas like health and wellness and consumer technology.

The bottom line: The deal comes as the Post's owner, Jeff Bezos, grows increasingly invested in Hollywood. Amazon recently closed its acquisition of MGM.

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