Dick Clark Prods. has a good beat, and Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder wants to dance to it.
Snyder, who also serves as chairman of the board for the Six Flags amusement park chain, is expected to announce today that his Red Zone Capital Fund investment team has acquired Dick Clark Prods. -- producer of the Golden Globes kudofest, among other programs -- for what's believed to be $175 million.
Snyder and Red Zone are acquiring the shingle from Mosaic Media Group and Peter Guber's Mandalay Entertainment, which formed Mandalay Mosaic TV Group in 2004 with Dick Clark Prods. as its key property. According to insiders, Allen Shapiro, who has overseen Dick Clark Prods. as head of Mandalay Mosaic TV, will no longer be involved with the company.
Besides the Golden Globes, Dick Clark Prods. also produces the American Music Awards (created by Clark) and its "New Year's Rockin' Eve" staple. The company is also a producer on Fox's hit summer competish "So You Think You Can Dance" and occasionally revives its popular TV "Bloopers" franchise.
Dick Clark Prods. was founded in 1957 by the now 77-year-old TV icon, just as his famed series "American Bandstand" launched on ABC. Company operated as a publicly traded entity until 2002, when an investment group led by Mosaic, CDP Capital Entertainment and former MGM exec Jules Haimovitz acquired it for $140 million.
Mosaic, CDP and Haimovitz took Dick Clark Prods. private -- but the old guard and the new owners clashed internally over the direction in which to take the company.
When CDP Capital decided to pull out of Hollywood in 2004, Mosaic recruited Mandalay to buy out the investment fund's share of Dick Clark Prods. Mandalay's investment at the time was said to be well over $10 million.
Dick Clark Prods. continues to profit from its production deal with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.; the company's deal to produce the Golden Globes doesn't expire until 2011. Dick Clark Prods. and the HFPA divide profits from the kudocast's NBC license fee and other sources -- netting the company $4 million a year (Daily Variety
, Jan. 13, 2006).
As for Snyder, the businessman has already entered the Hollywood landscape, having sealed a two-year deal with Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner's Cruise/Wagner Prods. last fall, soon after the team left Paramount (and just before they took over United Artists). Under the pact, Snyder's Red Zone will fund between $3 million and $10 million on selected projects.
Besides Six Flags, his entertainment holdings also include Red Zebra Broadcasting. That company runs three ESPN-branded sports radio outlets in Washington, D.C., as well as radio stations in Virginia.
Snyder made his money with the marketing company Snyder Communications, which he sold in 2000. He purchased the Redskins in 1999 for $800 million -- then the largest sports transaction in history. Earlier this year he announced plans to acquire the Johnny Rockets chain of '50s-style diners.
Coincidentally, Dick Clark Prods. licenses its name to a handful of Dick Clark's American Bandstand restaurants around the country.