Leading entertainment executive and entrepreneur Cris Abrego and celebrated director, producer, and activist Eva Longoria announced yesterday that they have formed Hyphenate Media Group. A new media holding company and premium content studio, the new venture will invest in creator-led enterprises and develop and produce its own original programming.
Abrego will serve as the CEO of the company, and Longoria will serve as its Chief Creative Officer.
Media and entertainment giant Banijay is also supporting this venture by making a strategic investment to accelerate its growth.
The announcement was made by Abrego and Longoria during a dedicated keynote at MIPCOM Cannes: The Future of Content: What Comes Next?
Collaborators for twenty years, Abrego and Longoria have identified a number of creator-led enterprises with proven leadership and the potential to scale and will dedicate the initial phase of Hyphenate Media Group’s growth to building out its portfolio of partners. As the industry finds itself at an inflection point, Hyphenate offers an alternative model, supporting creator-entrepreneurs as they build their own production companies and develop a slate of projects to sell independently. The new venture will drive the creative output and deal-making capacity of each partnered company through capital investment, brand development, and the collaborative advantage and infrastructure provided by Hyphenate’s core leadership team.
With an eye towards capturing the rapidly evolving marketplace, which is driven by an ever younger and more diverse audience, Hyphenate Media Group will leverage its co-founders’ commitment to address the industry’s urgent demand for ground-breaking premium content with an inclusive approach and broad appeal. As a destination for visionary multi-hyphenate creator-entrepreneurs, Hyphenate is poised to provide the entertainment industry with a business solution by enabling a multiplicity of connections to audiences around its different brands.
To jumpstart its own independent studio function, Hyphenate Media Group has acquired the full slate of UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, the independent production label founded by Longoria in 2005 and behind titles such as Telenovela, Grand Hotel, and Searching for Mexico. UnbeliEVAble Entertainment projects will be folded into the core operations of the new business, with Hyphenate taking over and advancing the entire lineup as well as developing new scripted and unscripted programs. Its first title, Apple TV+’s Land of Women, is expected to be released in 2024. Both Abrego and Longoria will produce exclusively for the new company, and all television projects directed by Longoria will be produced under the new banner.
Abrego and Longoria are currently in negotiations with several key executives and anticipate announcing their leadership team later this year.
Cris Abrego, Co-Founder and CEO, Hyphenate Media Group: “With Hyphenate Media Group, Eva and I are building an engine for culture-defining content by investing in visionary multi-hyphenate artists and providing these extraordinary creative leaders with the resources and infrastructure they need to scale their businesses. Through capital, brand development, and the leadership provided by Hyphenate, we will drive their creative output, enhance their deal-making capacity, and grow their brands, building franchises driven by original IP. Over the course of my career, I have scaled multiple production studios, starting with my own and, more recently, on behalf of Banijay. I have known Stéphane and Marco for many years, and I am grateful to count on their support and investment in this next chapter.”
Eva Longoria, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Hyphenate Media Group: “With Hyphenate Media Group, Cris and I are leveraging the power of the creative industry’s greatest resource, the multi-hyphenate, to help meet audiences and the industry where they are. We are answering the industry’s call for premium inclusive content with broad appeal and an undeniable point of view. Our intention is to provide greater financial participation for makers, creators, talent, and entrepreneurs – the Hyphenates. Given the multiple transformations that our business is undergoing, I cannot think of a better time to lean into makers, who are the essential drivers of the creative enterprise.”
Marco Bassetti, CEO, Banijay: “Hyphenate Media Group is a studio with a truly unique perspective. Combining Cris’ standout creative leadership with Eva’s reputation as a celebrated producer, director, and activist, this is a powerful home where multi-hyphenate voices can truly tell inclusive mainstream stories. And, with an ambitious vision, unrivaled credentials, and an impressive growth trajectory, this marks the perfect first strategic investment for us in the U.S. scripted market; a space we’d explored for some time but never, until now, found the right fit to cut through.”