UPDATED: CKx, the company whose portfolio includes reality series American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, the Elvis Presley estate and the Muhammad Ali brand, has been rebranded CORE Media Group, Inc. It is run by former NBC executive Marc Graboff, who was named president earlier this year and has made his first management appointments. “Our focus now is to take CORE to the next level,” Graboff said. “This means everything from creative content, and new means of distribution to changing the way we partner with sponsors, producers and artists to grow our business.” Graboff’s senior management appointments do not include creative positions as he plans to take his time making executive decisions in that area. But he is busy with dealmaking, closing in on several overall deals with unscripted producers and a reality company acquisition. Core is targeting cable reality and scripted series as well as game shows for its development slate, Graboff said, adding that he plans to build the company around its strong core licensing, merchandising and integrated marketing operations.
CORE Media Group’s corporate headquarters is in New York City, with additional offices in Los Angeles and Memphis, Tenn. Based in Los Angeles, 19 Entertainment is the company’s creative production, recording, touring and artist management arm behind both American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Peter Hurwitz joins as EVP, General Counsel of CORE Media Group. He comes from Martha Stewart Omnimedia, where he oversaw all business and legal affairs. Matt Apfel joins as Chief Digital Officer. Previously, he was a member of the original programming team at OgilvyEntertainment. Jason Morey will serve as EVP and Worldwide Head of Music for 19 Entertainment. Morey served previously as President of Morey Management Group. Kay Straky is joining as EVP, Human Resources. Previously she worked at Relativity Media. The newly-named executives join CORE’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Benson and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Gannett, both of whom were previously with CKx. In addition, Jack Soden is the Chief Executive Officer of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc, a position he has held since 1990.