Company Launches & Partnerships
Amazon has struck an exclusive deal with Open Road Films to stream their titles via Amazon Prime starting in 2017. Films will include upcoming 2016 releases like Fifty Shades Of Black, action-thriller Triple 9, romantic comedy Mother’s Day, action-thriller Sleepless Night, Bleed For This, and the animated family film Blazing Samurai.
Major League Baseball is working on a deal with Fox, which holds the local media rights to 15 MLB teams, to allow authenticated local streaming of live games. Currently only the Toronto Blue Jays, currently streams games locally. In the past, the league has required streamed games should go through MLB.com. The league will charge each sports network a rights fee in the mid- to high seven figures.
Endemol Beyond USA, the digital entertainment division of Endemol Shine North America, will join subscription video platform Vessel with over 700 of its existing videos and an exclusive early access window for new programming. Created by Dutch media giant Endemol to manage its growing roster of partnerships with digital content creators in North America, Endemol Beyond will bring to Vessel content from YouTubers including Michelle Phan and original video from Pitbull, Jessica Sanchez, Brittany Furlan, Drea de Matteo and Andy Milonakis.
Ted Cooper is retiring from his position as head film buyer for Regal Ent. Group. He’ll consult for the company for a year. Replacing him is Mike Viane, the former Warner Bros distribution exec.
Bob Bacon has left Paramount Pictures as their EVP of Animation and is currently pursuing other opportunities.
Andrew Calof is now the VP of Production at Dreamworks Studios. He previously held the same title at New Regency.
Mark Zoradi has been tapped as the CEO of Cinemark following Tim Warner’s leave after 20 years at the company. Warner will continue to provide consulting services. Zoradi was previously the COO of Dreamworks Animation.
Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins are now the Co-Presidents of Original Force Animation. They were previously SVPs at Sony Pictures Animation.
Amy Dunning is now the Head of Music in Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group. She was formerly the SVP of Downtown Music Publishing.
Allison Gillogly has been upped from CE to Director of Development at Ridley Scott Films.
Jenn Sheridan is now the VP of Creatives Services in Broad Green Pictures’ Home Entertainment division. She was previously the SVP of Creative Services at Trailer Park.
Marie Moore has joined Turner Broadcasting System as VP of communications for TBS and TNT. Moore will work with Petruzzi to lead the communications strategy for original programming and new ventures in digital content, as well as TBS’s upcoming brand overhaul. She was formerly an executive at IFC, leading consumer media relations, program publicity and talent relations.
Matt Cafritz is now a Manager of Development at Warrior Poets. He was previously an AP at Original Media. Eric Enright has been promoted from AP to CE.
Lee Flaster has shifted from SVP of Planning, Strategy & Business Operations, NBCUniversal Hispanic Group to SVP of Business Operations & Growth Strategy, Telemundo.
Dolores Gavin has shifted from EVP of Development & Production, Discovery Channel to EVP of Development at Megalomedia.
Duncan Gray is now a Principal of Twenty Six 03. He was previously the Creative Director of Princess Productions.
John Hamlin is now a Principal of Switched On Entertainment. He was formerly the SVP of Music Events and Talent for CMT.
Brooke Johnson will retire in 2016 from her post as President of Food Network and Cooking Channel and will remain on for a time as a Consultant to the Scripps Networks Interactive.
Erika Kennair is now the VP of Comedy Development & International Scripted Development, ABC Entertainment. She was formerly the VP of Original Programming & Development, Syfy.
Marc Rosen has decided to leave his post as CEO of Georgeville TV, which he launched with Reliance’s Motion Picture Capital in 2012. The company was attached as a producer-financier to series including NBC’s Crossbones and Relativity TV’s Limitless series. Currently Georgeville TV produces the Wachowski drama Sense8 on Netflix.
Simon Knight is now the CEO of Maverick TV. He was formerly the Creative Director of Ricochet.
Patrick Kondelis has been upped from Senior Producer at Bat Bridge Ent. from Creative Director of Unscripted.
Ross McCarthy is now the Managing Director, Gobstopper Television. He was formerly Head of Unscripted at Buccaneer Media.
Nikki Suseck has been upped from Publicity Assistant, Discovery Communications to Publicist at HGTV.
Time Warner has upped Priya Dogra, naming her SVP of mergers and acquisitions. Dogra has been at Time Warner since 2009, and before that she was at Citibank.
Dustin Smith has shifted from VP of Communications at TLC to the same title at CBS.
Sabina Widmann-Hernandez is now the VP and General Manager and Director, Sales, Univision Local Media. Sabina was previously Director of Sales at Univision Local Media.
Stephanie Yates is now the VP of Research & Insights, WE tv. She was formerly the VP of Research at TV One.
Management, PR, Agencies
Jonathan Perelman is now ICM’s Head of Digital Ventures. He was previously VP of Motion Pictures at Buzzfeed. Perelman will focus on expanding the agency’s representation of digital content creators and report to founding partner Chris Silbermann. Keyvan Peymani is now a Senior Advisor of Digital Ventures at ICM, up from Managing Director. Bennett Sherman has been upped from Coordinator to Agent in Digital Ventures.
Sean Lyons has returned to the R/GA agency as President, after previously serving as SVP of operations and business planning. Lyons was formerly global chief digital officer at Havas.
Aimée Anderson is now the Managing Director along with her past title of VP of Brand Publicity for DDA PR in London. Neil Bhatt is now President of Film and TV at DDA. He was previously Head of UK Theatrical PR at StudioCanal. Ben Hayes is now DDA’s Chief Innovation Officer. He was formerly their head of digital.
Tanya Cohen has switched as an agent of Motion Picture Literary at Verve to WME.
Marko Kuo is now an Attorney at Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo. Marko was previously a Counsel at Fayer Gipson.
Sarah Ledesma is now the Manager of Social Media at Haley Miranda Group. She was formerly a coordinator at AFI. Ashton Spatz is now the Director of Social Media & Public Relations, Haley Miranda Group. Ashton was previously the Senior Manager of Marketing & Promotions, House of Blues Entertainment and Live Nation. Maggie Waters is now a Sr. Manager of PR for Haley Miranda Group. She was formerly the Director of PR at Tina Thomson Communications.
Craig Bernstein is shifting from ICM Partners to UTA. He is a below-the-line agent with clients that include Theory of Everything Oscar-winning scribe Anthony McCarten and producer Lisa Bruce.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
David Miller has been upped from VP to SVP of Brand Marketing at Universal Studios Hollywood. Xiomara Wiley is now the EVP of Marketing and Sales, she was previously the SVP. Wiley will handle brand direction for the park and CityWalk, including strategy & insight, integrated marketing, sales, publicity and more.
Ian Richter is now the EVP of Franchise & Emerging Platform Development at Legendary Entertainment. He was previously head of Franchise Creative at DreamWorks Animation.
Kate Bedingfield has been tapped as Vice President Joe Biden’s Communications Director. She was previously the Chief Spokesperson for the MPAA. She joined the MPAA in 2011 from the White House, where she was associate communications director and acting director of media affairs. She has also formerly overseen campaign communications in 2008 for presidential candidate John Edwards and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). She takes over for Shailagh Murray, who’s now a Senior Advisor to President Obama.
Online publisher Evolve Media has tapped Jennifer Catto SVP of integrated marketing, based in the company’s New York office. Catto was formerly VP and head of branded entertainment and partnerships at Say Media.
Ranker, an online site for crowdsourced rankings, has tapped Inger Lund Carter as VP of content and programming and David Cohn EVP of sales. Carter comes from Yahoo, Cohn from Askmen and CraveOnline.
Patrick J. Connors has switched magazines from Time Inc. to InStyle where he will be the publisher. Connors had been SVP and publisher at Men’s Fitness.
Time Inc. has named Nicholas Butterworth head of product for digital entertainment, and will work with People.com and EW.com. Butterworth is a former CEO at MTV Interactive Group.
Will Keenan, who had served as President of Endemol Beyond USA, is leaving after two years. Adrian Sexton has been named Interim President and COO for Endemol Beyond USA, Endemol Shine North America’s premium content network. Leslie Morgan, who leads all lifestyle programming, has been named VP, Programming for Endemol Beyond USA.
Yahoo Media has a new Editor-in-Chief: Martha Nelson. Most recently, Nelson was the first female editor-in-chief of Time Inc., where she oversaw the editorial content for the media company’s 21 brands.
Communications planning and media services agency Crossmedia tapped David Heimlich as Executive Director. He joins the agency after four years at Horizon Media where he was VP and Managing Director.
MultiView tapped Yariv Drori as the new VP of Programmatic Advertising Operations. Drori was formerly the Vice President of Global Services at Adap.tv, which was recently acquired by One by AOL.