Two entertainment companies are moving into 860 Canal St. in Stamford, creating approximately 450 new jobs, announced Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy.
ITV America – the U.S. arm of London-based broadcaster ITV – is among the largest independent producers of nonscripted content in the U.S., producing more than 100 programs totaling over 800 hours of content in partnership with more than 40 networks. It will be relocating what Malloy termed “a significant portion of its business operations” to Stamford. The company will also maintain production and office staff in its New York and Los Angeles offices.
The newly launched Wheelhouse Entertainment, founded by entrepreneur and media magnate Brent Montgomery, also will be using 860 Canal St. as one of its bases of operations. Wheelhouse’s production arm Spoke Studios maintains a production partnership with ITV America.
Wheelhouse creates content and marketing opportunities across multiple businesses and platforms, forging talent-driven partnerships and “360 businesses” in which the company also invests and helps manage. Prior to forming Wheelhouse, Montgomery was CEO of ITV America, a post to which he was named in 2015 following the 2014 acquisition of his company Leftfield Entertainment by ITV.
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will support the project with a $6 million loan to ITV America and a $3 million loan to Wheelhouse Entertainment, with partial forgiveness based on jobs created.
DECD funds will be used for the purchase of machinery and equipment and capital improvements. In addition, both companies are eligible for film/digital media production and infrastructure tax incentives.
“Connecticut is home to more than 1,200 media-related businesses that employ over 16,000 people,” Malloy declared. “These two nationally renowned production companies plan to create hundreds of good jobs for our state’s residents, and we welcome them to our community.”
“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.
“Our proposed partnership with the State of Connecticut delivers on both fronts,” he continued. “We’re delighted to have worked with the governor’s office on this plan, which allows us to service many of our current projects while also promoting growth at ITV America.”
“This is the first of many projects Wheelhouse and Spoke Studios look forward to with Stamford as we team to cultivate the city as a vibrant center for media and content production,” added Montgomery.
Stamford Mayor David Martin said the city had held several meetings with ITV about the move and about the utility of 860 Canal St.
“I am glad the state came through with the right incentive package, and my administration looks forward to helping ITV complete construction on the building and welcoming the new employees to Stamford as part of our expanding media family,” Martin said.
The announcement of the companies’ move to Stamford comes on the heels of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ announcement of a $20 million expansion project that includes establishing Stamford as the headquarters for its Insourced Solutions for Tax division, which it said will create up to 400 new jobs in the state over the next five years.