Candle Media launches non-fiction arm, led by ex-ABC News president

The Dropout

Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs’ Candle Media has launched a new non-fiction division, headed up by former ABC News president James Goldston.

It will focus on scripted and unscripted series and films that have been inspired by real events, with Goldston serving as president of the new arm.

Goldston left ABC News in 2021, having first joined in 2004, and serving seven years as president during that time, in which he was responsible all aspects of the news division. Alongside the daily news programming, he oversaw projects including The Dropout, about biotech firm Theranos, which was turned into a documentary, scripted series and podcast for Hulu.

After exiting ABC News, Goldston launched factual firm Aquitania Films, working on docs for the US, UK and global markets. With his new appointment, the company’s entire development slate will move across to Candle Media along with Goldston and his team.

Mayer and Staggs launched Candle Media in 2021 with backing from private equity firm Blackstone and have since made several major acquisitions, including Reece Witherspoon’s Little Fires Everywhere producer Hello Sunshine and UK-based Moonbug Entertainment, the CoComelon firm, which it snapped up in a $3bn deal in 2021.

“Kevin and Tom have built a best-in-class team of storytellers at Candle Media,” said Goldston. “I’m thrilled to work with this brilliant group to create premium content based on the most compelling true-life stories.”

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