Hearst Corp. has acquired 50% of NorthSouth Prods., an independent producer of cable non-scripted programming, to form a joint venture. It will be part of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, run by Scott Sassa, which includes ownership in cable networks A&E, History and ESPN; and a similar joint venture with Mark Burnett’s One Three Media, which has hits The Voice and Shark Tank on the air.

Founded by Charlie DeBevoise and Mark Hickman in 2000, NorthSouth has corporate offices in New York City and Knoxville, Tenn., and production facilities in Atlanta and Los Angeles. It has produced reality series for most major cable networks with a current series portfolio that includes Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta and Say Yes To The Dress: Bridesmaids on TLC and upcoming hidden camera comedy series Impractical Jokers on truTV. The first season of Lovetown, a co-production with the BBC, just wrapped for OWN. “This partnership gives us a significantly stronger presence in cable network production, which is experiencing a steady growth in overall demand,” said Hearst Corp. CEO Frank A. Bennack, Jr.. Added Sassa, “NorthSouth is right at the center of the burgeoning television ‘reality comedy’ category which is attracting both men and women of all demographics across a number of important and diverse networks.”