Primedia launches production arm

After announcing last summer that it would use its considerable magazine assets to springboard into digital video, publishing giant Primedia has advanced those plans by forming a full-service production company.

Primedia Productions, a division of Primedia Digital Video, isn't necessarily a new entity as much as a strategic reorganization of existing Primedia assets, according to Primedia Digital Video President Bruce Gamache. It comprises existing production facilities in Dallas, the home of business-television effort Primedia Workplace Learning, and in Los Angeles, where teenage-news network Channel One Network has space in Raleigh Studios.

But taken in sum, Primedia Productions' holdings include an area of more than 200,000 square feet, more than 100 production employees, nine studios, satellite uplink capability, nonlinear editing, graphics, and digital media services such as encoding, Webcasting, hosting, streaming and digital-content management.

Primedia Productions will both support Primedia's digital video initiatives and will also handle outside business, particularly in its full-blown digital production facility in Dallas.

Primedia Production's initial focus, he says, will be on companies that are entering the "broadband area" and looking for production and digital media services. Primedia already handles production, encoding and streaming for outside clients.

"We can do a production from scratch and get it up on a Web site in a couple days," says Gamache.

But, while Primedia Productions will handle a lot of Internet-related business, Primedia Digital Video's target is the television set-top box, not the PC.