I mean, she's, there's Big Little Lies on HBO, Little Fires Everywhere is about to start on Hulu. And I think Jenna Bush Hager's picks, I'm always curious to see what other people have picked and why they've picked them. And so when we talk about what we're trying, we're trying to build the most meaningful book club for women, and however that's interpreted for any one of our followers. Byers: Thank you for taking the time to do this. So I think we did two unscripted shows, actually, Shine On with Reese and then a show with The Home Edit, and I think which really helped us get our unscripted business off the ground. And then, lo and behold, your book might turn into a TV show or a movie. Byers: Do people gravitate just because they love, because she's famous? And it's an audience that is just extremely impressive in terms of its scope, in terms of the trust and loyalty it has for the company and for Reese. But it was honestly, the real motivation for Reese to start this company, I think when we first met, she said, "This is not about me. And I think that is about being reliable in what you signal, providing lots of opportunities and onramps for people to connect with us, and you know, we're just getting started on that, listening to them. And I do think to the extent that we can make and launch a great television series, or whether that's scripted or unscripted, or movies, and do it in a way that, through the process of how we do that. And, you know, it's one of the things I think about, we've had a, you know, if you look over the last number of decades, a lot of the motivations that led Reese to start the company were about the lack of strong roles, a lot of male-centered storytelling. So we've just finished production on a show for Netflix with The Home Edit women, title TBD, not yet announced.
Different, amazing showrunners, different talent. And I feel hopeful, I mean, in large part because I think of those, you know, I think the conversation that started with #MeToo and Time's Up, I don't think we're going back. Harden: Look, I think we talk a lot about mobilizing our book club around things that they love to do. Harden began her career at Boston Consulting Group in Melbourne, Australia after graduating from Harvard Business School with high distinction as a Baker Scholar. But you know, we're picked out till, I mean, I spent my weekend reading a lot of books, as did Reese. You know, I think we do it over the soccer field with our kids. And, you know, we have From Scratch coming to Netflix, Daisy Jones and the Six, we're about to go into production. So if you have a story that has female voices, people of color, LGBTQ voices, they reflect the world that we live in. Because if you're giving, if you put out a book a month, there's a lot. And look, in a sea, we're in such a crowded media marketplace. When you look at, and I think any company, whether they're making a consumer product or whether they're making television, that doesn't ladder themselves more authentically to serve their audience, I think is in trouble. You know, it's a lot for people to spend $25 a month, or in a hardcover for a book every month. Byers: This seems to me to be sort of an integral thing for any media company now. And no, not two books a week, not two books a month, but really one book a month. “Having the opportunity to launch and build Hello Sunshine with Reese Witherspoon is a dream come true,” Harden said. We have production help from Tanner Robbins of Neon Hum and Allison Bailey of NBC News. And that's, I mean--. I mean, we certainly engage men and male book clubs, and you know, I know of a lot of, like, cross-gender book clubs. We could mobilize these people to vote for a certain candidate, or go out and support a certain issue."
Today, Sarah's business is female authorship, female-driven stories made for a diverse audience.
But I'm excited. And the unscripted space we can, I think we tend to work with narrative and putting books at the center on the scripted side. And, you know, a lot of our--, Harden: Yeah.
And so I think that's something we're thinking about a lot. And, you know, these are big bets. Byers: Right. A few years back she launched Hello Sunshine, a media company focused on promoting and developing storytelling by women and centered around women. And so I hope we'll be announcing one of our first rom-coms shortly. And Reese is across everything we do. Byers: Which seems to me to be, in a way, there's more content than ever, but that just makes getting audiences to show up harder than ever. And what you have to do to be a member of book club is love books and wanna talk about books with us. And I think we try and look at a balance over the year as well. And I think there's a lot of, like, "Yes, and" to that. We did that on Giving Tuesday.
Harden: I think so. Sarah simply put her head down, did the work and made them happen.
And I think they serve a really important function.
(LAUGH). Who's on our sets? I mean, it's an internally developed idea. And, you know, she really, she thinks a lot at the time of the year that a woman is in too, and what we love reading. And power follows money.
I think others have, I mean, there's some other wonderful movies that mostly the streamers, I think, are releasing. And then you can have really (MUSIC) heated conversation sometimes, a passionate conversation about why you did or didn't like this character. And we've just gotta go make entertaining TV shows. Harden: Yeah, I think we're very, look, that's a big focus for us in the next 12 months, I would say. Can These Execs Save ViacomCBS’ Storied Cable Brands? She's in December thinking, "No one wants to read. But the woman who is making things happen behind the scenes is its CEO, Sarah Harden, a veteran of Otter Media, NewsCorps, and Fox Networks. And so I think we talk about this excellence and passion bar for everything we do. In fact, I think Reese is gonna do an Insta story about how great some of the names are, and (LAUGH) why they've come together, virtual book clubs. But it was just such a delightful book too. You're listening to Byers Market. So Sarah, thank you for doing this. And then you're talking about people coming together and connecting over something very specific.
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