Deal follows Clements' new venture
STV and Primal Media to make Scots-based TV shows
Content producer Primal Media, which is majority owned by Lionsgate, was founded in 2016 by Mat Steiner and Adam Wood and is behind a range of big entertainment shows including Carnage for Sky One, Rose D’Or winning Bigheads for ITV, and RTS winning Release The Hounds for ITV2.
Lionsgate will be first in line to distribute any new formats that emerge from the partnership.
David Mortimer, managing director of STV Productions, said: “I’m so excited that we are teaming up with Primal Media. Adam and Mat are two of the most talented entertainment producers in the business, so I know we will do great things together.”
Gary Chippington, head of entertainment at STV Productions, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with one of the most creative companies in the business.”
Adam Wood, managing director at Primal Media, said: “Every ambitious indie these days must have the option to produce in Scotland – if not, too many precious format slots will be out of reach.
“STV, with their scale, entrepreneurial leadership and deep-rooted Scottish production expertise, feel like the perfect partners, and we look forward to sharing ideas with David, Gary and their team.”
Last week STV Productions announced that its drama team has secured television rights to two debut novels by Scottish authors. Best-seller Maggie & Me, by writer and columnist Damian Barr, and Fishnet, by journalist Kirsten Innes, have been optioned and will be developed by head of drama development, Claire Armspach and head of drama, Sarah Brown.
Kew backs Clements’ new venture
The partnership announcement follows content company Kew Media’s acquisition last month of a stake in Two Rivers Media, created by former STV head of productions Alan Clements.
Kew has invested alongside investment bank Noble Grossart and Channel 4. Kew has the option to acquire a controlling stake in the company.
Two Rivers Media will produce a diverse slate of content including factual, daytime series and features, entertainment shows and scripted. Mick McAvoy, former head of Documentaries and Factual at STV Production, will head Two Rivers’ factual business, and the company is currently recruiting in other genres.
Steven Silver, Kew Media founder and chief executive, said: “Kew’s interest in Two Rivers Media demonstrates the continued expansion of our international footprint.”
Mr Clements, pictured, now CEO of Two Rivers Media, left STV last April in a shake-up announced by incoming CEO Simon Pitts.
Speaking of his new venture, Mr Clements said, “Companies have launched with an international backer, an expert finance team or Channel 4 but never with all three. We share an exciting vision for our production company that is proudly Scottish, but also focused on the UK and international markets.”
Sir Angus Grossart of Noble Grossart, said, “We are delighted to be a part of this very strong partnership, and to work with proven talent of high quality.”
Jonathan Allan, Chief Commercial Officer of Channel 4, stated, “We are thrilled for the Indie Growth Fund to become a part of the Two Rivers Media story.
“As we prepare to open new creative hubs in Glasgow and Bristol, and a new national headquarters in Leeds, this investment is a further example of Channel 4’s commitment to nurturing and supporting the creative industries in the nations and regions.
“Alan’s reputation in the industry is second to none, and I am looking forward to seeing the shows that he creates.”
These investments follow the recent announcement of Two Rivers’ first commission, Children of the Devolution, from BBC Scotland. The documentary series will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Scottish parliament, as broadcaster Allan Little speaks with people across the country between the ages of 20 and 60, whose lives were shaped by the change.