Malloy: Stamford 'production hub' to create 450 jobs

BY Joe Cooper

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy speaking to business leaders.
More jobs are coming to Stamford after a pair of entertainment companies announced Friday they are relocating to the same downtown space, creating approximately 450 new jobs, the governor announced.

Production group ITV America, which will relocate a "significant" portion of its operations to Stamford from New York City and Los Angeles, and startup Wheelhouse Entertainment are moving into a vacant building at 860 Canal St., Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Friday.

ITV America, the largest independent non-scripted producer in the nation, has acquired industry-leading production companies such as Gurney Productions, High Noon Entertainment, Thinkfactory Media, Leftfield Pictures, Sirens Media, Loud TV and Outpost Entertainment, according to its website.

The production company has produced popular television shows including "Hell's Kitchen," "Duck Dynasty," "Pawn Stars" and "Real Housewives of New Jersey."

Meanwhile, former ITV America CEO Brent Montgomery launched Wheelhouse in January. The startup company will develop content and marketing strategies for a variety of media.

Wheelhouse's production sector, Spoke Studios, has a partnership with ITV America, and the Canal Street location will become one of its base operations.

The state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will provide a $6 million loan to ITV America and a $3 million loan to Wheelhouse Entertainment, including potential forgiveness based on job creation.

The new jobs will support the operations in production, post-production and finance, among others.

"It's a time of great change and disruption in our industry, and as a leading creator of unscripted content, ITV America is focused on finding innovative ways to keep our business thriving while securing career opportunities for both current and future employees," ITV America CEO David George said.

Malloy said Connecticut has more than 1,200 media-related businesses employing over 16,000 people.

On Thursday, the governor announced that accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) will spend $20 million in a hiring effort expected to create 400 new jobs in Connecticut over the next five years.

PwC will establish its Insourced Solutions for Tax (IST) division at its offices in Stamford at 300 Atlantic St.

DECD will also provide PcW with $9 million in grants for training, equipment and leasehold improvements in Stamford. The grants will be distributed over the five-year-period.