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Litton Entertainment

Litton Entertainment (formerly Litton Syndication) is an American media and production company based in Charleston, South Carolina as an autonomous division of the Hearst Television subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation, with four additional offices in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Burbank, California. Many of Litton's programs comply with federally mandated educational and informational requirements.

Litton Entertainment
Formerly
Litton Syndication
Subsidiary
IndustryTelevision
GenreTelevision Programming
Educational entertainment
Founded1988; 31 years ago (1988)
FounderDave Morgan
Headquarters,
Number of locations
5 [1]
Area served
Worldwide
ServicesDistribution
Media sales
OwnerHearst Communications
ParentHearst Television
(2017–present)
DivisionsLitton Worldwide Distribution
Litton Media Sales
Litton News Source
Websitelitton.tv

HistoryEdit

Early historyEdit

The company was founded in 1988 by Dave Morgan in Baltimore.[2] Its first syndicated productions were a series of one-off, sports-related specials.[1] The programs were bought from other companies.[2]

In the 1990s, seeing a growing market for educational programs due to the enactment of the Children's Television Act, requiring television stations to air a weekly quota of educational programs, Litton began to syndicate Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures.[1] In 1993, the company was moved to Charleston, South Carolina, while maintaining a production base in Burbank, California.[2]

Adding to its outside syndication library that included Baywatch in May 2007, Litton purchased from Peace Arch Entertainment Group syndication rights to 85 movies in the Castle Hill library. The low budget films were bundled into 4 groups and was the company's first move into syndicating movies.[3] By 2008, LE had syndicated rights to three off-MTV shows, Cribs, Pimp My Ride and Date My Mom, while adding that year, Storm Stories from The Weather Channel. In 2009-10, Litton offered the nontraditional court show Street Court.[1]

In January 2011, Litton distributed the hip-hop newsmagazine Direct Access (hosted by Darian "Big Tigger" Morgan) from WDCW/Washington, D.C. to fellow Tribune Broadcasting stations and Weigel Broadcasting's WCIU-TV/Chicago.[4]

Involvement in network E/I blocksEdit

In May 2011, following the announcement of plans to discontinue the ABC Kids Saturday morning block, Litton reached a deal with ABC's affiliate board to syndicate a block of live-action, E/I-compliant programming, known as Litton's Weekend Adventure. The block premiered on September 3, 2011.[5][6]

On September 28, 2013, Litton introduced its second Saturday morning network television block, CBS Dream Team, for CBS; focusing on teenagers 13 to 16 years old. The block succeeded CBS' previous block, Cookie Jar TV.[7] Recipe Rehab was one preexisting program Litton moved over from its ABC block.[8]

The company planned to double its productions by adding production facilities in South Carolina. Litton began renting and renovation a North Charleston studio used with its first-ever scripted production, The Inspectors, also being its first series produced there.[2] LE's first film produced in that studio was the independent film The Ivy League Farmer, which began filming in September. Additionally, Litton planned to build its own studio complex with multiple stages somewhere in the state. Production of most of Litton's productions should move there also.[9]

In 2014, Ocean Mysteries With Jeff Corwin won two Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards for Outstanding Travel Program and Outstanding Directing in a Lifestyle/Culinary/Travel Program.[2] On October 4, 2014, Litton introduced its third Saturday morning block, One Magnificent Morning, for The CW, succeeding Saban Brands' Vortexx block.[10]

For the 2016-17 season, Litton launched two additional E/I programming blocks. On April 27, 2015, Litton announced Go Time, a syndicated block of E/I programming made up of older programming from four Litton-related blocks.[11] On February 24, 2016, Litton and NBC announced The More You Know, which launched on October 8, 2016, succeeding NBC Kids.[12] In the 2017-18 season, the block also began to be carried on NBC's classic television subchannel network, Cozi TV.

On January 6, 2017, Hearst Television (a former employer of company founder Dave Morgan) announced that it had acquired a majority stake in Litton for an undisclosed amount, a deal closed on February 1, 2017.[13][14] On January 25, 2017, Litton and Tribune Media announced a deal for the 2017-18 season where they will provide E/I content for Tribune's Antenna TV network.[15]

DivisionsEdit

Litton has three operating divisions:[16]

  • Litton Worldwide Distribution
  • Litton Media Sales[16]
  • Litton News Source provides stations with reports and features from Consumer Reports magazine, Consumer Reports TV and Consumer Alert News Network (Hearst itself had previously partnered with Consumer Reports in the 90s and 2000s for national wire stories).[1] Previous programming included Brighter Living With Jill Cordes, BusinessWeek Reports From Wall Street, Standard & Poor's Customized Reports, Consumer Reports[1] "Good Housekeeping Reports" and seasonal specials, "Solutions With Jill", "BusinessWeek Custom Wall Street Reports", "S&P Custom Market Indices"[16]

First run syndicatedEdit

Programming blocksEdit

Programming block Network Launch
Litton's Weekend Adventure ABC stations[6] September 3, 2011
CBS Dream Team CBS stations[7] September 28, 2013
One Magnificent Morning The CW stations[10] October 4, 2014
The More You Know NBC stations
Cozi TV[12]
October 8, 2016
Antenna TV block Antenna TV September 2, 2017[15]
Mi Telemundo Telemundo January 6, 2018[17]

Go TimeEdit

Go Time is a syndicated E/I-compliant block launched separately from the networks. The block has 80 percent clearance in the US.[18] The block is three hours in length. Sony Pictures Television is the block's exclusive advertising sales representative.[19]

On April 27, 2015, Litton announced the launch of Go Time syndicated E/I-compliant block to premiere during Fall 2016 with CBS-owned independent stations as the launch group. Litton reached subsequent deals with other station groups such as Gray Television and Sinclair Broadcast Group to carry the block.[11]

Station groups carrying the block are 5 CBS Television Stations (WLNY-TV, KCAL-TV, KTXA-TV, WSBK-TV and WBFS-TV), Sinclair Broadcast Group, Gray Television, Cowles Company, Cox Media Group, Media General, Meredith Corporation, News-Press & Gazette Company, Northwest Broadcasting, E. W. Scripps Company, Tribune Broadcasting, and Weigel Broadcasting.[18]

Go Time programmingEdit

  • Hatched (fall 2016)[20]
  • Expedition Wild
  • Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin
  • Brain Games Family Edition
  • Dog Town USA (fall 2016)

Stand alone programsEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Albiniak, Paige (August 29, 2008). "A Small Syndicator's Big Success". Broadcasting and Cable. NewBay Media, LLC. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Darlington, Abigail (July 20, 2014). "Setting the stage: Litton Entertainment to build network of film industry professionals in Charleston". The Post and Courier. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Dempsey, John (May 25, 2007). "Little Litton serves up movies". Variety. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  4. ^ Miller, Mark K. (January 25, 2011). "Litton And Tribune Offering "Direct Access'". TVNewsCheck.
  5. ^ "ABC Orders Saturday Kids Block From Litton". TVNewsCheck. May 24, 2011. Archived from the original on December 4, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Albiniak, Paige (May 24, 2011). "ABC to Premiere ABC Weekend Adventure on Sept. 3". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  7. ^ a b James, Meg (July 24, 2013). "CBS partners with Litton Entertainment for Saturday teen block". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  8. ^ "Former Greenbrier chef now stars in 'Recipe Rehab'". Associated Press. September 7, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  9. ^ Darlington, Abigail (July 21, 2014). "Litton Entertainment to bring TV production, film jobs to S.C." The Post and Courier. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  10. ^ a b James, Meg (July 24, 2013). "CBS partners with Litton Entertainment for Saturday teen block". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Albiniak, Paige (April 27, 2015). "It's 'Go Time' for Litton Entertainment". Broadcasting & Cable. p. 22.
  12. ^ a b Middleton, Richard (February 26, 2016). "NBC, Litton prep factual block". C21Media. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  13. ^ "Hearst Invests in Media Entertainment Production Company". TVSpy. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Hearst Acquires Majority Stake in Independent Distributor Litton Entertainment". Variety. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  15. ^ a b "TRIBUNE BROADCASTING AND LITTON ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCE NEW E/I BLOCK FOR ANTENNA TV" (Press release). Litton Entertainment. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  16. ^ a b c Chris, Pursell (April 16, 2007). "Litton Maintains Its Independence". Television Week. Retrieved May 26, 2011.[dead link] Freely accessible here
  17. ^ "Litton Entertainment & Telemundo Kick Off 2018 with the new "Mi Telemundo" Kids Programming Block Premiering Jan. 6". Litton Entertainment. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  18. ^ a b "TV One grabs Empire; History star jumps ship; TNT tells Tales from the Crypt". Cynopsis. April 15, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  19. ^ "TV One grabs Empire; History star jumps ship; TNT tells Tales from the Crypt". Cynopsis. April 15, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  20. ^ Hatched - Season 2 Promo (Steve). Litton Entertainment. Vimeo. Retrieved September 14, 2016.

External linksEdit