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Netflix in Richmond: Why entertainment giant is eyeing Virginia expansion

Posted at 8:14 AM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 08:14:26-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Looking to make Virginia a star, a colossal company known for its streaming content wants in on the state’s growing film industry.

Netflix, one of the largest television content creators in the world, is targeting the Commonwealth for a potential expansion of its production operations, according to a letter the company sent to state officials in recent months.

Written April 16 and addressed to Gov. Ralph Northam, the letter is signed by Ty Warren, Netflix’s vice president of physical production, and Ted Sarandos, chief content officer.

“We make a large portion of our content in Los Angeles and New York,” the letter states. “However when we do look outside of our core production hubs, Virginia has the potential to be an attractive location with great creative and technical talent.”

Andy Edmunds, director, Virginia Film Office, said his division is familiar with Netflix’s letter to the governor’s office. He would not comment about any specific dealings involving Netflix, but said he recently visited the company’s California headquarters.

“(Netflix) currently has 700 productions underway in 100 countries,” Edmunds said. ‘We want this work in Virginia.”

Several calls and emails to the governor’s office for comment were not returned.

Michael Ivey, spokesman with the Greater Richmond Partnership, which serves as the region’s lead economic development division, would neither confirm nor deny any dealings with Netflix.

Neither Warren nor Sarandos could be reached for comment.

Potential locations

While the letter did not go into specific detail about a timeline for expansion or specific areas of the state the company is eyeing, sources familiar with the early discussions say it is interested in several locations. Click here to read what RichmondBizSense reported about potential locations for Netflix.