CORE Media Group

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CORE Media Group, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Entertainment
Founded February 7, 2005 (United States)
Headquarters 650 Madison Avenue
New York City
Key people Marc Graboff, President
Peter Hurwitz, General Counsel
Kim Williams, CFO
Products entertainment content, intellectual property services, American Idol/Idol series
Owner(s) Apollo Management
Employees 115
Subsidiaries 19 Entertainment and Sharp Entertainment

CORE Media Group, formerly CKX, Inc., is an American company founded on February 7, 2005 that owns and develops entertainment content and intellectual property.


The "C" and "K" stood for "Content is King", representing the focus of the company's business strategy to acquire established content, and then to improve, enhance and develop the marketing of such content. The "X" takes the initial of founder Robert F.X. Sillerman. This is a trademark of many Sillerman companies, such as "SFX Entertainment" and "FXM Asset Management"


Before its founding in 2005, and during a period from 1986 to August 2002, the company operated a franchise of golf equipment, formerly known as Sports Entertainment Enterprises. In August 2002 the company sold all of its former assets. From September 2002 to February 2005, the company's main priority was to pursue a transaction with a business enterprise.

As a result, it began building a stake in the image rights of boxer Muhammad Ali. In 2005, it bought British company 19 Entertainment from Simon Fuller, who subsequently joined the company's board. With the purchase, the company acquired a majority share of the rights to the Idol series, including American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, as well as Pop Idol in Great Britain and numerous other international versions. Later that year it bought an entertainment agency, with artists on its roster such as Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Woody Allen. In 2005, the company bought 85% of the rights to the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley, and the operations of Graceland, from the trust of Lisa Marie Presley.

In 2007, Fuller and Sillerman launched a takeover bid for CKX, valuing it at $1.3bn or $13.75 per share, but their attempt failed due to its timing coinciding with the start of the Global Credit Crunch.[1]

Recent events[edit]

In February 2010, Sillerman resigned from CKX. Still holding 21% of the shares, he began working with One Equity Partners on a $550m-$560m takeover bid. In May, Fuller teamed up with former Barclays Capital executive Roger Jenkins, creating a $1Bn fund. They propose as their first purchase CKX, at a bid level of $600m. On the current share price, CKX is valued at $395m, with $101m of debt and $55m of cash at the end of first quarter 2010.[1]

Apollo Management bought the company on June 21, 2011.[2]

CKX was renamed CORE Media Group in May 2012.[3]

On Nov. 19, 2013, it was announced that CORE Media Group had sold its stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises and Muhammad Ali Enterprises.

Assets and holdings[edit]

CORE's assets and holdings at present include:


CORE Media Group portfolio includes:

  • 19 Entertainment: Based in Los Angeles, 19 Entertainment is CORE Media Group's creative production, recording, touring, and artist management arm, responsible for the development and production of both American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. 19 Entertainment also continues to manage a number of American Idol winners and finalists, including this year's winner Phillip Phillips and runner-up Jessica Sanchez. As part of CORE Media Group, the company provides a critical platform for the development of new entertainment properties, an unparalleled creative production capability, and the artist management skills required to extend CORE Media Group's branded talent to millions of audiences worldwide.
  • American Idol: American Idol is perhaps the most influential show in television and music history. It is broadcast in over 100 countries, has launched the careers of numerous singers and performers nominated for and awarded Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards, driven the FOX network to the #1 position among the coveted 18-49 demographic, and set the blueprint for a generation of competitive reality programs. When it comes to reaching audiences and driving sales, there is no bigger stage. According to Nielson research, after a song is performed on American Idol, the positive sales impact remains eight weeks following the performance. American Idol contestants have sold over 100 million tracks since the show's inception. At one point, American Idol contestants commanded over 2% of overall album sales, more than doubling the show's impact on music sales from under 1% in 2003. More than a show, American Idol is a cultural juggernaut and, in an age of fragmented audiences and niche offerings, an ongoing testament to the power of big, high concept entertainment.
  • So You Think You Can Dance: Dance has been a part of American television for decades, but it was So You Think You Can Dance that first recognized its potential to be the driving force of a blockbuster show and to set it in a competitive framework with a voting audience. Since its premiere in 2005 to over 10 million viewers, So You Think You Can Dance has continued to be one of the most popular shows on television. It has taken the top spot in its time slots, won Emmys every year since 2007, and become a social media phenomenon, generating over 70 million user votes per season and the second-most number of followers on Facebook and Twitter. The format for So You Think You Can Dance has been licensed internationally to over 24 different countries, a testament of the show's universal appeal and cross-cultural impact.
  • Sharp Entertainment: Since its creation 8 years ago, Sharp Entertainment has produced hundreds of hours of television, boasts programming on 19+ cable networks, and top shows include Man v. Food, Call of the Wildman, Property Wars, My Crazy Obsession, Food Wars, Punkin Chunkin, Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America.


External links[edit]