Whistle Acquires Ron Howard and Brian Grazer-Backed New Form

Howard and Grazer, along with Discovery and New Form’s other stakeholders, will now gain a piece of Whistle

Last Updated: January 31, 2019 @ 9:46 AM

Whistle, the youth-focused distributor and creator of sports content, has acquired New Form, the Ron Howard and Brian Grazer-backed media company, both companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal comes after Whistle raised $28 million in Series D funding last year, including an investment from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo. Both companies have made several new content deals recently, with Stephen Curry’s Unanimous Media creating a new documentary series for Whistle and New Form adding the Sofia Vergara-produced “365 Days of Love” documentary series to Facebook Watch. The merger allows Whistle, which says it has an audience of 518 million subscribers and followers, to double down on its bet on original series and scale its business.

“It was a great match from the start. Both companies excel at discovering emerging narratives and storytelling,” John West, Whistle’s CEO and founder, said in a statement. “With New Form’s content slate, we are excited to build a bigger portfolio to serve our ever-growing global audience and distribution partners.”

Soon after its fundraising round last year, Whistle signed with Creative Artists Agency. The company has raised more than $100 million since its 2014 launch.

Along with Howard and Grazer, stakeholders include Discovery, ITV, Jim Wiatt, Craig Jacobson, Ed Wilson and Michael Rosenberg. They all became shareholders of Whistle after the buyout was complete. New Form has been run by CEO Kathleen Grace and chief operating officer JC Cangilla since its founding in 2014, with the pair spearheading the debut of more than 30 original series in the last four years.

“New Form’s track record for producing quality content continues as we work with the best in the business, from TBS to Facebook Watch. We believe we will be stronger as we tap into Whistle’s experienced creators to develop premium series for all platforms and further accelerate the growth of our business,” Grace added in a statement.

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