Reese Witherspoon Forms Women-Focused Digital Media Company With Peter Chernin, AT&T

Todd Spangler
Variety

Reese Witherspoon has established digital media company Hello Sunshine under a pact with Otter Media, the joint venture of the Chernin Group and AT&T.

Hello Sunshine is a consumer-facing content company dedicated to telling female-driven stories that plans to create, curate and discover “powerful content by and for women across all platforms,” according to the partners. The company will begin to launch content next year at Hello-Sunshine.com and on other platforms, including Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. That will include daily social and short-form digital content as well as TV shows and movies.

Witherspoon’s film and TV production company Pacific Standard will be an integral part of the new company. Hello Sunshine will be headed by media and tech industry veteran Kerry Tucker, who as CEO will oversee all operations and strategy. Tucker most recently was with Video Genome Project, a video-content database startup acquired by Hulu earlier this month. At the VGP, she built and managed the strategy and operations as COO, and served as one of the principal architects of its sale to Hulu. Prior to the Video Genome Project, she served as exec VP and chief marketing officer of Victoria’s Secret, and before that, was head of marketing for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

“I’m thrilled to be partnering with Peter Chernin and AT&T on this exciting new company,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “My lifelong passion has been to tell women’s stories with authenticity and humor. This partnership will allow me to reach a greater audience that is eager for more female-driven content.”

Added Peter Chernin, CEO of Chernin Group, “Reese has been a force in empowering women to create and innovate, and has led by example both through the characters she portrays on screen, and by her efforts as a producer and storyteller. We are proud to join forces with her to introduce Hello Sunshine as a distinctive, versatile platform for women today.”

Hello Sunshine will operate under Otter Media’s portfolio, which comprises Fullscreen Media; Ellation, the division that operates over-the-top subscription service Crunchyroll and VRV, a multichannel video platform; and an interest in Gunpowder & Sky, a digital-focused studio co-founded by Van Toffler and Floris Bauer. Otter Media is led by president Sarah Harden.

Seth Rodsky, founding partner of Strand Equity Partners, is a partner with Witherspoon on the deal and will join the Hello Sunshine board.

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