Dick Tracy, Brenda Starr in Classic Tribune Pact

Tribune Media Services is entering into a co-venture with the New York-based entertainment company Classic Media. According to a report in Daily Variety, the terms of the pact will see Classic managing worldwide licensing, marketing, home video and production rights for Tribune properties including: Dick Tracy, Brenda Starr, Gasoline Alley and Broom Hilda.

Classic’s brief is to develop new merchandise for all properties and animated series for some of the titles, says Steve Tippie, Tribune Media Services VP of marketing and licensing.First out of the gate, will be the development of a licensing and merchandising plan to celebrate Dick Tracy’s 75th anniversary in October 2006. A collector’s edition DVD of episodes from the animated series will be among the products rolled out.

Live-action rights to Tracy are not part of the pact. Among other things up in the air for the still-hot property, Warren Beatty has sued Tribune for film rights to the character and there are plans for a live-action TV series to be developed by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Outlaw Prods.

Classic owns and manages at least 3,000 family properties including:
Lassie, Casper the Friendly Ghost, The Lone Ranger and Rocky and Bullwinkle. It is the third-largest comic book rights holder after Marvel and DC.