EXCLUSIVE: I’ve seen PR companies become part of ad agencies, and I’ve seen management companies become generators of film and TV content. But here’s a new one on me — a publicity firm branching full scale into the production business. Sunshine Sachs’ principals Ken Sunshine and Shawn Sachs, who do PR for a great client list that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Jason Statham, Natalie Portman, Tommy Mottola and Tyler Perry, have launched Madica Productions. This is a sister company that aims to be a full-service development and production house. Madica will develop content for digital, TV and film platforms, with a slate that will include nonscripted and digital content stemming from the firm’s diverse lineup of clients. The managing director of the spinoff company will be Jeff Tahler, who joined the firm as a partner after a six-year run as FremantleMedia SVP Acquisitions and Development for its Global Content Division.
Tahler oversaw the creation of Fremantle’s scripted studio and acquired programming that included Project Runway, The Apprentice, Oprah’s Big Give, No Reservations With Anthony Bourdain and Bellator MMA. Tahler also developed, produced, and funded scripted television projects, working with producers to sell over 25 projects. FremantleMedia’s first scripted show, The Wedding Band, premiered on TBS in November 2012. Prior to Fremantle, Tahler worked for eight years at Miramax Films in New York in posts that included VP Acquisitions and founder of the Family & Kids division, which he ran for three years. (more…)