Penske Media Corporation Acquires ATX TV Festival

The deal will put PMC in charge of the ATX Television Festival, though the original management team is expected to remain intact.
AUSTIN, TEXAS - JUNE 07:  A general view of the atmosphere on day two of the ATX Television Festival at the State Theatre on June 7, 2019 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
ATX Television Festival
Getty Images for FIJI Water

IndieWire parent company Penske Media Corporation has announced the acquisition of ATX TV, the Austin-based television festival.

Founded in 2012, ATX TV has established itself as the preeminent television festival in America, with its premieres, showrunner panels, and cast reunions. ATX TV is now a year-round business that connects fans with the top creators and performers in the television industry, establishing itself as an essential platform for TV artists to reach industry voices and diehard fans.

The company’s management team will remain in place, with co-founders and co-presidents Emily Gipson and Caitlin McFarland continuing to operate the festival. Laura Kincaid will remain as director of operations and Jennifer Morgan will continue to serve as director of programming.

“We have long admired ATX’s commitment to creating unique content that celebrates every aspect of television,” said Jay Penske, CEO and Founder of Penske Media. “Emily and Caitlin have built an incredible community and world class programming over the years, and we look forward to helping them expand their footprint for an even bigger audience in the future.”

“Our vision for ATX TV is expansive,” said McFarland. “We have always had our eyes on creating year-round programming and engagement, but the pandemic marked an inflection point for us all. We realized that we needed to expand to digital content and grow beyond a yearly festival to service our business and our audience. Our partners needed more opportunities to reach audiences and our audience needed one another — but we, ATX TV, also needed more resources to achieve our very big goals. We are so proud of all we have done with our team, but we are ready for our next chapter of growth and are thrilled to have Penske Media as partners to help us achieve it together.”

“It’s hard to believe the first festival was 10 years ago,” said Gipson. “At that time, we had no idea what it would become, but our vision has always remained the same: to create an inclusive destination for industry and consumer audiences to come together as one community to celebrate TV. Over the past decade, we have focused on creating curated content and producing high-quality experiences that have allowed audiences to discover, discuss, debate, collaborate, interact, and enjoy all things television. Now with the support of Jay and Penske Media, we know the possibilities are endless of how we can grow our vision together.”

The acquisition is the latest step in Penske Media Corporation’s recent expansion into the festival and live event space. The company recently invested in SXSW and acquired a majority interest in the Life is Beautiful music festival. It’s preparing to host the inaugural LA3C music and arts festival in December.

ATX Television Festival Season 12 will take place in Austin from June 1-4, 2023.

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