<span style="">New Orleans – Tom Benson's Louisiana Media Company has joined forces with Horizon Entertainment in a joint venture to lure the company from Atlanta to relocate and headquarter its operations in New Orleans. The announcement was made today. The move was a collaborative effort between the Louisiana Media Company, Horizon Entertainment and Louisiana Economic Development.
"This announcement today is very important. It is another step for us to contribute to our state's economic development, the formation of jobs and it also helps reestablish New Orleans as a great place to do business," said Benson, whose New Orleans Saints solely create nearly $700 million in economic development annually for the state of Louisiana. "We were very impressed with the work and innovation of Horizon Entertainment and felt that we could offer them a great home to move their operation here in New Orleans."
Benson announced that the two companies have formed a joint venture that was the catalyst to spearhead the move from Atlanta to New Orleans. Benson's Louisiana Media Company also owns WVUE-TV Fox 8 in New Orleans and the facility at the TV station, which has recently been upgraded to a state-of-the-art multi-media complex will serve as the site for Horizon Entertainment.
"These will be two separate and distinct companies. Fox 8 is in the news gathering business. Horizon is in the business of creating innovative film projects and original television programming," added Benson. "The fact of the matter is that we would not have been able to pull this off without the great work of the staff at Louisiana Economic Development and the very progressive business plan they have created to facilitate getting a company like Horizon Entertainment to decide to relocate here. We are glad to be a part of making that happen. It is important for our area at this time."
Horizon Entertainment was founded by Jason Sciavicco, an Emmy Award winning producer. Sciavicco has worked for numerous major television networks including ESPN, ABC, NBC and FOX. He has worked on the production of Super Bowls, Indy 500's, NASCAR, Monday Night Football and college football. His Horizon Entertainment is represented by the William Morris Agency and currently has two mini-series in production in Louisiana in addition to one major motion picture that is currently in development and will be shot and edited in Louisiana.
"We would like to thank Mr. Benson, Rita and the entire staff for facilitating us moving our operation to Louisiana," said Sciavicco, whose current productions in Louisiana have created nearly $5 million in economic impact in the last twelve months. "We are very excited to have our company headquartered in New Orleans, a city rich in tradition and charisma. Our goal is to continue to help grow the film and television business in this area."
One of the series currently in production is the "High School Football Series." Horizon is in its fourth season producing the series, with the most recent centered on perennial powerhouse John Curtis Christian School.
"The business decision to work collaboratively with Horizon and Louisiana Economic Development made too much sense not to pursue," said Saints Owner/Executive Vice President Rita Benson LeBlanc, who serves on the Board of Directors for Louisiana Media Company. "Once Louisiana Media Company purchased Fox 8, we stated then that our goal was to continue to take steps to improve not only the station but to utilize those resources to bring in new business. This is a perfect example of bringing all those pieces together."
Horizon Entertainment will relocate nearly 20 full-time employees and hire another 25 full-time and 50 part-time employees once the move is complete. They will be based on the same property as WVUE-TV Fox 8 in the newly built out production facility, which will have five high definition editing suites and full field production capabilities. The station also features a 5,000 sq ft sound stage dedicated to Horizon Entertainment for their use in producing national programming, both for television and movies. Horizon will have its own separate facility entrance at the Fox 8 compound.
"The facility at Fox 8 offered us an excellent venue to not only headquarter the offices of Horizon, but also to do a further build out of the existing property to create a state of the art film and television production facility," added Benson LeBlanc. "It enhances our ability to expand production to help create new jobs here to a varied creative sector of the work force and that is exciting."
The State of Louisiana offers a unique and creative tax incentive program that has created a thriving television and film production industry. Horizon Entertainment first came to Louisiana to shoot a television series. Their experiences in the state and their work with Louisiana Economic Development officials directly led to the joint venture between Louisiana Media Company and Horizon Entertainment.
"We clearly recognize that without the climate in which our state has created to entice new investment industries like this, we would not have been able to attract this kind of opportunity, our hat is off to Louisiana Economic Development," added Benson LeBlanc.
"As the newest player in Louisiana's native entertainment industry, Horizon Entertainment opens a new sector in television programming for our state," said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret. "Moving their headquarters from Georgia is a testament to Louisiana's deep and growing crew base, the unique production opportunities our state offers, and the business climate we're cultivating. We're very excited to welcome them to Louisiana."