STX Entertainment, co-founded by Robert Simonds and TPG Capital is slated to distribute as many as 15 movies a year beginning in 2016 and signed a new deal with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Universal will market, sell, and distribute discs, electronic sell-through, and VOD as part of a new multi-year deal.
Ryan Seacrest Production’s unscripted division will partner with international reality powerhouse Endemol Shine, with the deal expected to close in winter 2015. Endemol Shine’s subsidiary companies that include Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds, although the deal with Seacrest will not be an acquisition.
Canadian financier and distributor Remstar has partnered with LA-based film and television producer Clark Peterson to launch Remstar Studios, a content production and financing venture with offices in Los Angeles and Montreal that will co-finance, develop and produce independent features and television. On the film side, the company will focus on star-driven projects in the sub-$10 million budget category, while the TV side will look for series with international financing.
WWE Studios is teaming with British financing and production outfit Richwater Films for a deal in which the companies will share funding and production on two action films including the feature Eliminators.
Kristina Hicks and Dallas Carroll launched Illuminated Media International (IMI), a full service artist representation and production company that handles every aspect of production from strategy, sales, bidding and treatments all the way through to production and finish using the most cutting edge methods and techniques custom tailored to fit each job. Their client, Reuben Wu was featured in SSN’s latest Development Pick List.
Digital Domain Holdings, the Hong Kong-based parent company of long-time visual-effects house Digital Domain, and Immersive Media are partnering in a joint venture called IM360 to create hardware, software and actual shows for the new world of virtual-reality entertainment, 3-D video.
The Weinstein Company is in discussions sell its growing television unit to Britain’s ITV Studios for as much as $950 million, per NY Times, following a month’s long search for a buyer.
David Kaminow will be the new president of marketing for Annapurna Pictures. He recently worked at Sony Pictures, will oversee all global marketing and publicity for Annapurna and its projects. He’ll report directly to Megan Ellison. Veteran executive and producer Glendon Palmer has joined prolific entertainment company IM Global, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA, as Senior Vice President of Development & Production, it was announced today by company Founder and CEO Stuart Ford. Palmer will report to Ford and President of Production Matt Jackson.
Red Wagon Entertainment’s Co Heads Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher today announced the promotion of Charlie Morrison to Vice President. Morrison will work alongside Vice President of Motion Picture and Television Nicki Cortese and Creative Executive Lucas Wiesendanger. Morrison served as a co-producer on Insurgent, the follow-up to Divergent. Red Wagon Entertainment is expanding to television and has several projects in development, which Morrison will also oversee.
Paramount Pictures has upped Bob Buchi from EVP of Worldwide Marketing to president of Worldwide Home Media Distribution.
John Short is now SVP at Radiant Films International; he was formerly the VP of Sales at Voltage Picturees.
Michelle Nunes is now the SVP of Operations at Cinedigm, upped from her post as VP.
Andrew Lauren has partnered with D.J. Gugenheim, who has joined as the President of Production at Andrew Lauren Productions. Together they will develop a large film slate focusing on director-driven and commercial films. The company will also invest in up to three films a year with a seven figure fund for production and early stage pre-production as well as equity to back films ranging from $5 to 15 million. Gugenheim most recently was Executive Vice President of Production and Operations at Lotus Entertainment.
Liz Glotzer, previously of Castle Rock Entertainment, will oversee King Size Productions. The banner is headed by The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King who have a new overall deal with CBS Television Studios.
Jonathan Murray is stepping down as chairman of Bunim/Murray Productions after 23 years. The move comes exactly five years after Banijay Group bought the unscripted production company. Murray will remain on board as executive consultant, focusing on development.
Liz Gateley has been named EVP and Head of Programming for Lifetime and will oversee movies, scripted and unscripted series development for the network and affiliated brands, reporting to EVP and GM Robert Sharenow.
Mark Jocson has been upped from VP to SVP Digital Media and Games, Networks, at Sony Pictures Television. He will oversee SPT’s Games division, a mobile game publishing studio and continue to head digital product and platform initiatives for SPT’s networks globally.
Andrew Weil has moved to Netflix’s original series comedy team from previous post as Universal TV VP of Comedy where he guided Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mindy Project and About a Boy. Previously he was head of scripted television for BermanBraun. He will report to Netflix’s Jane Wiseman.
Ingrid Escajeda has signed a new two-year overall deal at 20th Century Fox Television Studios. The former Justified producer will develop and supervise projects with her first assignment executive producing Fox’s hit series Empire.
Scripps has expanded corporate roles for several executives following its merger with Journal Broadcast Group. Debbie Turner, previously executive VP at Journal Broadcast Group and WTVF Nashville general manager, is now VP of TV operations and will oversee the operations of all 33 Scripps TV stations. Ed Fernandez has been promoted to VP and divisional general manager, Steve Wasserman was upped to VP and divisional general manager, Lyn Plantinga was upped to the new VP and general manager in Nashville, Mike Murri will be the new VP and general manager at WXYZ-WMYD and Lloyd Bucher will be the new VP and general manager for WPTV.
Cable startup Layer3 TV has named Lindsay Gardner their chief content officer. Gardner joined Layer3 as an advisor last August and has been heading the company's content advisory board, but has formalized his relationship by joining the company full-time. Gardner will report to CEO Jeff Binder and focus on establishing partnerships.
Barbra Held has been named to a newly created position as VP of event production at the Television Academy. In the new role, she will be responsible for the planning and execution of all live events including the Television Academy Hall of Fame and Television Academy Honors.
Management, PR, Music, Agencies, Digital, Misc.
In the continued UTA/CAA shake-up, UTA has gained (now former) CAA agents Mackenzie Condon, a talent and literary agent working in film and television and Chelsea McKinnies, a motion pictures talent agent. Andrew Skikne, formerly of CAA’s comedy department has also made the leap and joined UTA’s touring department. Comedy Coordinators Sean Eisenberg and Samantha Murphy have also shifted to UTA from CAA. They will join other CAA defectors, Jason Heyman, Martin Lesak, Greg Cavic, Nick Nuciforo, Gregory McKnight, Susie Fox, John Sacks and Joanna Scott.
Tom Ham is now the director of business development in gaming at the Create Advertising Group, shifted from being the previous head of publisher relations at Machinima.
Former head of music/personal appearances at UTA, Rob Prinz has shifted to ICM Partners. He will join the agency’s Los Angeles office as a partner. Several clients are leaving with him including Jerry Seinfeld and Celine Dion, see the latest Rep Moves for more info. Nikki Wheler has shifted from her agent post in the concerts division at UTA to the same at ICM Partners. Ally Frohman also moves over to become manager of corporate communications at ICM, she was previously the director of talent relations at SLASH-PR. Acne LA has hired Line Postmyr as managing director and broadcast executive producer. She’s worked with brands such as Nike, Levi's, Mercedes and on music videos for Madonna, Nirvana, Iggy Pop and Björk.
Cablevision promoted Matthew Grover to Senior Vice President, Sales Operations and Commercial Sales. Most recently, Grover serves as Vice President of Sales Operations.
Hungry Man has signed Cannes Gold Lion winner Lenny Dorfman for global representation. He’s previously worked on brands like Nike and Coca Cola and directed the pilot Iconoclast for Sundance Channel. Dorfman was previously represented by O Positive and before that, Radical Media.
Reset, a commercial production house has signed Reynald Gresset, formerly of Caviar USA, for representation in the North American market. Gresset’s work for brands includes Samsung, SyFy Channel, and Johnson & Johnson.
Collective Digital Studio, a multiplatform digital-entertainment company, has appointed Phil Ranta to chief operating officer. He was previously with YouTube multichannel network Fullscreen. In his new role he will oversee the network, engineering and distribution teams and will develop strategies to strengthen and enhance CDS’ MCN. He reports to CDS CEO Reza Izad.
Mark Noble was upped to Senior Producer at The Insider. Noble joined the show last October after serving as Senior Field Director at Access Hollywood.
Sharre Jacoby was named Executive Producer of animation and design studio Stun Creative. Previously, Jacoby was Executive Producer/Head of Operations at Pembrook Productions.
YayBig productions has hired director Phillip Lopez, whose recent projects include Little Dicky's "White Crimes" music video and Free People clothing brand's website homepage video. This is his first signing with a commercial production company.