The Walt Disney Company is putting down $650 million to acquire a 99-year lease on a large development site at 4 Hudson Square in lower Manhattan. According to Disney, the new location, which occupies a full city block, will be home to its New York operations, with offices and production spaces for WABC-TV, ABC News, “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” “The View” and Disney Streaming Services. “Good Morning America” would still be based in ABC’s Times Square studio. Disney is the parent company of ABC. The purchase comes as the company is finalizing the sale of ABC’s Upper West Side complex to Silverstein Properties for what The Real Deal reports are over $1 billion. ABC would continue to lease the Upper West Side property until work on its new facilities at Hudson Square is completed. Disney would also keep ownership of the Armory on 66th Street, where ESPN, also a part of the company, has offices.
Condé Nast has launched a streaming TV channel for Wired, the publisher’s science and tech-focused magazine and website. The channel became available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV July 1, and it is expected to debut on Roku this month. Programming on the Wired channel includes videos and shows from Wired.com and its YouTube channel, featuring shows such as “Autocomplete Interviews," "Almost Impossible" and "Technique Critique." Wired is expected to produce original programming for the streaming channel, and will also offer licensed movies and TV shows. Wired’s YouTube channel has 2.3 million subscribers, and Condé Nast sees the streaming channel as a way to reach even more people. “Our video business is one of the most important assets to our company’s future, recognized by our audiences and advertising partners alike,” Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg wrote in a memo to staff. Channels for Bon Appetit and GQ are expected to debut next year.
Oprah Winfrey, whose multi-year content agreement with Apple was announced on June 15, is investing in “health-driven restaurant” True Food Kitchen, according to a statement from the company. Winfrey has joined the True Food Kitchen board of directors and will take a role as a consultant for the company, which is majority-owned by New York-based Centerbridge Partners. Winfrey also has a $43 million investment in Weight Watchers. True Food Kitchen, which has around 3,000 employees, said it expected to double its store growth over the next three years.
YouTube says that it plans to spend $25 million on news as part of the Google News Initiative’s pledge to invest $300 million in the industry. Google is the parent company of YouTube. YouTube’s investment is intended to help prevent more extremist and misleading information from spreading through the platform. The projects to be funded by the money include hiring more specialists to support publishers, helping publishers build video operations and creating a working group with news organizations to create new video product features and improve news on YouTube's platform. YouTube’s announcement comes as Facebook prepares to unveil the first programs to result from its partnership with news providers. Starting on Monday, July 16, shows from such sources as CNN, Fox News Channel, Univision and ABC News can be seen in a dedicated news section in Facebook Watch, the company’s new video platform for episodic programming.