Reader's Digest to make television software

LOS ANGELES: The Reader's Digest Association signed an agreement with the William Morris Agency to expand its brands into new entertainment distribution channels, including television, radio and motion pictures.

The alliance will capitalise on the publisher's assets to create original media programming, movies, cross-promotional marketing opportunities and new businesses. Reader's Digest publishes the world's most widely read magazine as well as books, music CDs and videos, and other magazines including Taste of Home.

William Morris Agency's job will not only be to capture the company's existing content and channel it through various entertainment platforms, but to also create new content and revenue-generating opportunities. Reader's Digest VP, development, Frank Lalli, said: "Everything that we produce will reflect our high standards and advance our mission to inform, entertain and inspire as many people as possible."

To begin expanding the global publisher's reach into the entertainment industry, the William Morris Agency will create and execute entertainment-based marketing and business initiatives in three key areas: original television and radio programming, cross-promotional marketing and new business ventures. Content that could serve as the basis for original television and radio programming will be identified. William Morris will create alliances with individual talent, including writers, directors and producers, who can work with Reader's Digest to create that programming. Additionally, the agency will develop new revenue-generating business opportunities between Reader's Digest and relevant media and entertainment properties. It will also create cross-marketing and promotional opportunities for various Readers' Digest properties.

In addition, Reader's Digest is developing franchises around how-to books on subjects ranging from health to computers, and this winter, it plans to launch a proprietary global multi-channel weight-control programme.

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