HGTV Co-Founder Bob Baskerville & RIVR Media To Launch Major Studio Complex In Knoxville, Tennessee

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Peter White
·2 min read
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EXCLUSIVE: Knoxville, Tennessee is getting a major new production studio.

HGTV Co-Founder Bob Baskerville has teamed up with RIVR Media, the factual producer backed by Cleveland Browns owner and managing partner Dee Haslam to launch RIVR Studios.

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RIVR Studios, which will open this summer, is a 20,000 square foot studio complex that will comprise of multiple full-service, COVID-compliant studio spaces. This includes a studio with more than 6,000 square feet geared for TV and film production, a 1,500 square feet studio designed for digital production and full service post-production facilities.

Knoxville is one of the major media hubs in the southeast home to the likes of HGTV and Sky-owned Jupiter Entertainment.

Baskerville will serve as President of RIVR Studios. The co-founder of HGTV, Baskerville became EVP, Digital and Media Operations at Discovery when the factual giant acquired Scripps Networks and ran its U.S. portfolio of production and post-production services until December 2020.

RIVR Media is the company behind series such as HGTV’s Fixer to Fabulous and Breaking Bland and Magnolia’s Super Dad. It is led by Dee Haslam, managing partner of the Cleveland Browns, investor operator of the Columbus Crew, and CEO of Haslam Sports Group and Lori Golden-Stryer, who became CEO in 2019.

Kathleen Finch, Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer at Discovery called the move “exciting”.

“Rapid industry changes and the impact of COVID have further accelerated the Southeast’s growth as a center for production and talent, resulting in greater need for top-tier facilities in the region. It is exciting to see a leading player such as RIVR Media respond to the increasing demand by opening turnkey studio spaces that promise to be best in class both regionally and nationally,” she said.

“Knoxville has long been a hidden gem in the Southeast as a TV and film hotbed,” added Haslam and Golden-Stryer. “Seeing its continuing growth over the last year, we identified an exciting opportunity to launch a full-service studio space equipped for all forms of production. Having Bob as President will bring to RIVR Studios unmatched experience in brand building, digital technology and business leadership.”

“Having led RIVR Media to become a world-class producer, Dee and Lori have a keen understanding of the resources needed to create content to the highest standard,” said Baskerville. “There could not be a better time to launch RIVR Studios, which will establish a valuable resource both for their own productions and for content creators across the country.”

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