Scholastic Media’s president and EVP Deborah Forte is leaving the company to launch Silvertongue Films, a new venture under which a slate of popular Scholastic properties will be brought to the big screen.
Her departure comes as Scholastic and Universal Pictures, along with Forte, have inked a three-year first-look production agreement for several of Scholastic’s kidlit properties. Under the deal, Forte will work with the two companies to develop and produce the live-action movies.
Currently in development at Universal Pictures are Scholastic’s Clifford, The Big Red Dog and The 39 Clues, with Forte as producer for both.
In order to dedicate her full attention to producing films, Forte is stepping down at Scholastic Media and is set to open offices in L.A. and New York under the Silvertongue Films banner. Her successor at Scholastic has not yet been named.
Forte has been at the helm of Scholastic Media, then called Scholastic Entertainment, since 1997. She first joined the publisher in 1984 as its VP of new business development.
During her time at the company, the division created some of the longest-running kids TV series on the market, including Clifford the Big Red Dog, Goosebumps, I SPY and Word Girl, as well as movies like The Golden Compass.
On the digital side, her team helped to develop Scholastic’s multiplatform straetgy, designing and producing the publisher’s eReading app Storia and its interactive eBooks.
Scholastic’s current film projects include an upcoming Goosebumps movie set to hit theaters on October 16 in the US. With its new Universal Pictures deal, Scholastic will be able to expand the presence of its properties, tapping into NBCUniversal’s various platforms, including theme parks, television and consumer products.