Shout! Factory Announces Acquisition of Home Entertainment Company Timeless Media Group

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ronald Epstein, May 18, 2012.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    SHOUT! FACTORY ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF

    MAJOR ACQUISITION OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY

    TIMELESS MEDIA GROUP

    Los Angeles, California – May 18, 2012 – Shout! Factory, a leading multi-platform entertainment company, announced that it has acquired Eugene, Oregon-based home entertainment company Timeless Media Group, Inc. for undisclosed terms. This announcement was made by Shout! Factory’s founding partners Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos.

    Independent home entertainment company Timeless Media Group produces and distributes a variety of video products, including Timeless Media’s award-winning military history documentaries, first-run movie titles, classic television programming, and special interest DVDs. Popular home entertainment product lines from Timeless Media Group include television and movie classics The Gene Autry Show, The Virginian, Wagon Train, Laramie, Roy Rogers: King of the Cowboys Western movies collection, Aspen: The Complete Miniseries, Once An Eagle Miniseries, Red Skelton, Snapped, Peter Gunn, as well as over 50 best selling documentaries and other notables.

    “Timeless Media Group is a great company with a rich history and has tremendous growth potential. As we’re continuing to build on the success we’ve enjoyed with our distribution and retail partners, this acquisition is a terrific business opportunity and complements our current ventures,” stated Shout! Factory’s founding partners in a joint statement.

    “Norman Andersen built a fantastic company for 36 years. We want to continue their strong tradition and gain from their expertise and experience. Combining both great catalogs and staff will make a bigger, better and more profitable Shout! Factory and Timeless Media Group,” added Shout! Factory’s founding partners.

    Timeless Media Group President Norm Andersen reiterated Shout! Factory founders’ comments, “This is a great opportunity and works well for both companies. This acquisition puts Shout! Factory and Timeless Media Group in the position to pool valuable content catalogs and staff resources for greater competitiveness in the industry. This will further the strength of the Timeless Media Group brand.”

    Shout! Factory will take over the distribution of more than 600 TMG titles. Timeless Media Group will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shout! Factory and will continue to release titles on a monthly basis. Key executives from Timeless Media Group will be based in Oregon. The company will utilize Shout! Factory’s marketing and sales force to support upcoming home entertainment releases from TMG.



    About Shout! Factory
    Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company’s audio catalogue boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com
     
  2. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    I hope that the acquisition doesn't change the philosophy of either company. I enjoy a lot of the higher budget, more familiar releases from Shout, but I depend on Timeless for releasing the less obviously profitable shows.
     
  3. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    I'm guessing TIMELESS will be the budget label for SHOUT! Covers both ends of the spectrum!
     
  4. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    This worries me- I hope there won't be snags in new releases of classic Universal material- I still have too many bad memories of Shout! Factory's deal with Fox.
     
  5. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    I'm choosing, for the moment, to be optimistic about this. The wording of the announcement leaves me of the impression that Shout! and TMG will maintain degrees of autonomy while pooling resources interns of marketability and potential availabity of media. That is to say, TMG will have higher profile for sales while Shout!s' clout might make it easier for TMG to get titles for release.
    I'm a consumer an believer in both companies, so I hope this is good for both at the expense of neither.
     
  6. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    Now, if Shout!'s owners can take a look at TMG's M-Squad complete series set and say, "It looks awful, Lee Marvin deserves better than that in terms of picture quality". I wonder if they can spring forward for a new set of transfers for this series like they did for "Leave It To Beaver". That could be a possibility, huh?
     
  7. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I'm hoping they will at least do some sort of mastering clean up on at least the more profitable titles like the rest of Wagon Train and a re-release of Laramie season 3 and 4 with uncut episodes and better transfers.
     
  8. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    I don't think Timeless was doing (or could afford doing) any real cleanup of these titles. I think someone already referenced once in the past that it was Encore that worked with the studio to clean up what we have seen to date. And that explains why the Timeless releases are really not any better then what is currently broadcast on Encore. Since Encore didn't run the later seasons of Wagon Train that could explain why these are not quite up to the quality of the earlier releases.
    Just as a general statement, do any of the independents every really do any cleanup of episodes they release, or just go with what they get? They have to encode them for DVD, which determines bitrates. And they can tweak a few things (contrast, brightness) easily enough. But i though true cleanup was really outside their financial scope. Maybe someone else can add more clarification.
     
  9. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I know Timeless did not have the budget for any remastering or clean-up but I was referring to going forward after the merger. I thought Shout has and does do some remastering or cleanup. So I was hoping they will put this budget into the more profitable Timeless releases going forward.
     
  10. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    Please someone correct me if i am wrong, but i didn't think any of these independents (e.g., Shout!, Timeless, Infinity, MPI) did much real cleanup/restoration before a release. They all say remastering but that term doesn't seem to mean much anymore. Other then maybe releases like Dark Shadows (MPI) and Twilight Zone (Image), which are their bread and butter releases that they maintain the rights to continuously. The majority just seem to be licensed for a couple of years where putting too much into a release would be cost prohibitive. I think the main differences we see are just attributed to the quality of the source provided. That is just my understanding, but i could be wrong.
     
  11. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I'm not positive either so you maybe correct but if so Shout has been provided with much better source material then Timeless because other than The Virginian all their releases look miles apart from the quality of most of the Timeless releases that generally have a gray, poor contrast and fuzzy look. Dennis the Menace, Leave it to Beaver look nearly as good as the Paramount Black and White shows so I thought there was some sort of cleanup done or remastering but not a restoration which is of course too expensive for most titles even from major studios.
     
  12. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    You're not wrong, Brad. None of the indies really have the financial ability to do much true restoration. They pretty much have to work with what they receive. You were also spot on correct about the Wagon Train example. This is why the early seasons look a little better than the later ones.


    Gary "I don't see Shout as doing any cleanup of previous Timeless releases and re-releasing them" O.
     
  13. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    I think that may just be the difference in the titles chosen. Since Shout! goes for better known titles that have remained in syndication better prints may be available. For example, I captured the last three seasons of "Mister Ed" off of the "This" network because they aren't as important to me as the earlier "Addison" seasons. The Shout! releases don't look that much better then what i captured. However, the majority of the Timeless titles aren't as well known and may have never been in syndication or at least not for a few decades. So the source prints available have a higher probablility of being in poorer condition.
    It would be useful to get a better understanding of the entire process a source may go through over time (e.g., 35mm film, 16mm film, various tape forms), shows that have gone through syndication and those that have not. And how the different decades of when a show was original produced impact this. The cost os gong from one type of output to another. Having a better knowledge of all this could help in discussions, as well as understanding what the studio's and independents go through.
     
  14. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Gary
    What about Shout/Timeless re-releasing previous Timeless releases before they started getting prints from Universal like the two Laramie color seasons or Guns of Will Sonnet which they licensed from Universal but did not receive prints so they went out and found their own from private collectors mostly Videotape copies made from TV which is why they were edited and poor quality. Certainly prints directly from Universal beside being uncut , would look much better then the current release even with no cleanup/ remastering.
     
  15. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I agree in theory with you on that one, Randy. While I'm sure there are instances where Shout and/or Timeless could go back and get better Uni prints now - and I'd absolutely love to see them get uncut eps of Branded, for instance - I have to wonder if they think it would be worth it to do so. They're thinking is probably that there would not be enough people willing to double-dip to make it worthwhile to go back and re-release some of those shows. But I guess anything is possible and I for one would double-dip in certain instances. But I'm guessing I'm in the minority there.


    Gary "I just don't see them doing something like that - but it's only my opinion and not anything my crystal ball has revealed to me" O.
     
  16. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    That's my understanding as well, Brad. It's all about the fact that Shout goes after shows that are more well known and generally will have better prints to work with (for a variety of reasons).


    Gary "still thankful for the Uni/Timeless deal - even if all the prints aren't perfect" O.
     
  17. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    I think "Branded" is a good example where i seem to recall that the only tapes available are the Kings World one's that were all cut up for syndication. Now there might be original elements around with the studio but the cost to transfer them is cost prohibitive for an independient and not deemed worthwhile by the studio. So all that is available is the same old tapes from syndication.
     
  18. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I know it probably sounds like I'm picking on Timeless but Please don't misunderstand me I do appreaciate what they have done and hopefully continue to do. Releasing obscure, old shows that would never be seen otherwise. I do care about audio/video quality a little more than some in this thread after being spoiled by many other high quality releases mostly from the big studios. So I have sort of a Love/Hate relationship with Timeless or really more of a I love what they do and release but just get frustrated that the quality can't be better and I do understand why in their case. I was just hoping Shout may have had more money to put into the shows but as Brad and you pointed out its that Shout has had better materials to work with since they are generally releasing more widely known and syndicated shows. Thanks for the replys.
     
  19. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    The Guns Of Will Sonnett was the property of King World, which has been folded into CBS Television Distribution, so Don't hold your breath for a re-relase, for CBS/Paramount dosen't license anything out to indies like Shout/TMG. Branded is the same way, too, besides, they are shown the same way, cut prints and all on Me-TV Saturdays.
     
  20. oldtvshowbuff

    oldtvshowbuff Second Unit

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    Maybe ditto for Laramie's seasoms 1 & 2 in black & white. Now, how about The Jack Benny Program's Best Of The Filmed Episodes from 1954 to 1965 (infrequent in earlier seasons, more prevalent from 1960 to 1965. I can watch Jack on Antenna TV!
     

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