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Crafts giant Annie’s extends reach with PBS show deal

Annie’s of Berne is going Hollywood – or at least PBS.

The crafts business has acquired Candice Jensen Productions, which has a show on the Public Broadcasting Service, for an undisclosed sum. The Emmy-nominated “Knit and Crochet Now!” is at the center of the acquisition, officials said.

Annie’s management hopes the takeover expands its brand, which includes crochet and knitting publications, and a catalog and website business.

Sebastopol, Calif.-based Candice Jensen will continue to operate as normal and Annie’s does not expect any job creation from the transaction. Annie’s has been in operation since 1974.

“We’re just excited about getting more people into crafting and learning,” said Michele Fortune, executive vice president of Annie’s. “We’re looking forward to our products on the show, sure, but being able to teach more people about crafting is what it’s all about.”

The exposure of PBS should further establish Annie’s as one of the largest and most diverse sources of craft designs and instruction in the U.S., Fortune said. Annie’s has five magazines: Crochet World, Creative Knitting, Crochet!, Quilter’s World and CardMaker. The business also has three catalogs: Annie’s Crochet & Crafts Catalog, Annie’s Knit & Yarn Catalog and Annie’s Quilt & Sew Catalog, besides a variety of craft kit clubs.

“ ‘Knit and Crochet Now!’ reaches more people than any other knit and crochet show on TV,” Jensen said. “The program is available to 250 million people and is the only knit and crochet show currently available on the Create Channel.”

A popular knit and crochet designer, Jensen has more than 400 designs published in national magazines, including Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day and Family Circle.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Annie’s on ‘Knit and Crochet Now!’ ” Jensen said. “They have the expertise and vision to take the television show to the next level, and I know the viewers across the country will be overjoyed with the results.”

A full 26-episode season will be in production this fall for release next spring on PBS.

pwyche@jg.net

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