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Half Yard: A reality-TV success story that’s ready to conquer the world

By Vincent Dajani

In “Where Are They Now?”, SmartCEO takes another look at companies and CEOs previously featured on our magazine cover. Half Yard’s cover story appeared in March 2012. Read it here. If your company was featured on our cover and you’re interested in having us revisit your story, email vincent@smartceo.com.

The reality TV market is changing constantly, with new hits and different formats popping up almost daily. Half Yard Productions has certainly claimed its spot as a top producer, but the challenge

Half Yard

Abby Greensfelder

for the past few years has been how to maintain that position.

“From an industry perspective, there’s been a lot of consolidation in our market,” says co-owner Abby Greensfelder.

Half Yard’s best bet for success was through a strategic partnership. “We took some time to think about [whether] we wanted to do that and what would be the right partner and what the benefits to us would be,” Greensfelder says. “We sold a majority interest to Red Arrow, a German media company.”

So what does that mean for Greensfelder and her Half Yard co-owner, Sean Gallagher? “We’re still co-CEOs,” Greensfelder says. “We run the company. We have an enormous freedom to run the business, as we did before. We’re still Half Yard.”

In fact, Half Yard has grown significantly since the last time SmartCEO talked with this dynamic duo. “At this point, our office in New York is in full production,” Greensfelder says. “We have about six series we’re running out of each office.”

Half Yard

Sean Gallagher

Say Yes to the Dress is still chugging along on its 13th season,” Gallagher says. “We have a couple of other wedding shows. One [is about] an all-male bridal shop with an all-female bridal shop across the street, and they essentially do battle. We [also] have two shows on National Geographic.”

“We have How the States got their Shapes host Brian Unger in Tours by Unger. [He] travels across the U.S. to historic locations and shows how they’ve changed over time,” Greensfelder says. “Did you know there are 87 steps to the Lincoln Memorial?” She notes the number of steps is a reference to the famous opening line of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (“Four score and seven years ago…”).

In total, Half Yard Production’s show count is 14 series with nine different networks, up from only nine shows two years ago. And the success doesn’t stop there. “We just sold our first international format into the U.S.,” Greensfelder says. “International formats like Pop Idol, [which turned] into American Idol, those all came into the U.S. market and became huge hits after being established in other countries. We can now have access to some of these formats.”

Half Yard is a force to be reckoned with. Its strategy for the future? “Develop our own formats to sell internationally,” Greensfelder says. So now that Half Yard has firmly established itself in the U.S. market, look for it to conquer the world.