Hearst buys half of Mark Burnett Productions, but not Survivor or Apprentice

The Hearst Corporation has bought half of Mark Burnett Productions, but will not own any part of Survivor or The Apprentice. Everything else he produces will, however, including Shark Tank and the upcoming X Factor clone The Voice.

Burnett “had been trying to sell his company for several years, particularly as he struggled to develop a new blockbuster hit,” the Los Angeles Times reports. But he told the newspaper, “I’m looking for that next act in my career. And Hearst provides a big burst of energy and the ability for me to work with new people.”

Hearst owns a lot of media properties: In addition to its newspapers and magazines, Hearst owns part of cable networks including Lifetime, History, A&E, and ESPN. Hearst’s Scott Sassa told the paper, “We were not looking to be in the television production business. … The one thing that is certain is: Good content will continue to be critically important no matter what’s on the screen.”

The company will now “focus on media content, producing events around that content, and spinning off television shows and other programming for new and emerging platforms based on Hearst brands, while expanding Burnett’s domestic and international production business,” according to a press release.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.