Company Launches & Partnerships
Music video-focused MCN Vevo has bought out ShowYou. ShowYou launched in 2011 as a tool to aggregate multiple social media feeds and has expanded its features to include subscription-based video channels.
IBM has bought out cloud video provider Clearleap. Clearleap has developed video services for Verizon, the NFL, HBO, and others. Financial terms of the acquisition weren’t made available.
Scripps Networks Interactive has launched Scripps Lifestyle Studios, a new in-house editorial unit designed to develop lifestyle content across multiple platforms and apps. The studio will create advertising solutions for digital formats, working with Scripps-owned networks such as HGTV and Food Network, to produce bonus content and advertising. Scripps exec Vikki Neil will lead the division as Scripps Lifestyle Studios SVP and General Manager.
Endemol Shine UK has bought a 50% stake in Douglas Road, the shingle created last year by actor and comedian Lenny Henry and BAFTA-winning producer Barbara Emile. Douglas Road is focused on high-end TV across drama, comedy and factual. Its credits include the Sky Arts documentary When Lenny Got The Blues.
FremantleMedia has bout a 25% stake in just-launched Man Alive Entertainment, founded by Justin Gorman, the former head of entertainment at Channel 4. Fremantle has an option to increase its share in the future. Under the deal Gorman will be named the Creative Director and CEO of Man Alive. Man Alive Entertainment will develop and produce large scale entertainment and factual entertainment programming as well as reality, game show and quiz formats. Previously Gorman was exec producer at Objective Productions and Princess Productions. FremantleMedia International has named Caroline Kusser as SVP, Sales and Distribution of its U.S. arm. She will develop FMI’s brand in the region and to maximize opportunities for the company’s content across linear, digital and home entertainment platforms. She was previously an executive at Red Arrow International.
MGM will buy the 45% stake it didn’t own in its United Artists Media Group joint venture from partners Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, and Hearst. Roma Khanna has left her position as head of MGM Television and Digital, which Mark Burnett will now succeed and become the division’s President. The deals are expected to be signed early 2016. Burnett signed a 5-year contract and will report to MGM chief Gary Barber.
Publisher HarperCollins and digital TV studio Insurrection Media are partnering to option and develop science fiction, dramatic and comedic literature for scripted series for digital, television and other distribution platforms. The partnership’s first project is to adapt Mila 2.0, the young adult trilogy written by Debra Driza and published by HarperCollins Children imprint Katherine Tegen Books, for several digital television series.
Oscar- and BAFTA-winning sound supervisor and veteran exec Tom McCarthy has been elected President of the Motion Picture Sound Editors. He is currently Sony Pictures Studios’ EVP Post Production Facilities. He succeeds Frank Morrone.
Richard Fox is relocating to China for Warner Bros International. Fox, their EVP, will expand their interests in the region within a joint venture Flagship Entertainment Group. The group was formed with China Media Capital in September to develop and produce a slate of Chinese-language films, including global tentpoles, for worldwide distribution. The venture’s first release is expected in 2016. Fox, who has been in his current position since 1992, will relocate in January.
Rebecca Arzoian has been upped from Creative Executive to the Director of Development at Focus Features.
Sam Newton has been upped from Press Assistant to the Deputy Director of Corporate Communications at MPAA. Chris Ortman has been hired as the VP of Corporate Communications at MPAA in Washington D.C. He was previously the Principal at Ortman Strategies.
Kelly Summers and Scott Guthrie have been named Co-Presidents at Alchemy. Summers was formerly the SVP of Strategy & Financial Planning at Alchemy. Guthrie was previously the Chief Operating Officer at the company. Bill Lee has been named an Advisor to the Board, Investor at Alchemy in addition to his duties as CEO.
Sara Rastogi has been hired as a Creative Executive at 20th Century Fox. She was formerly the Creative Executive at Ridley Scott Films.
Keith Dawkins has been upped from SVP, General Manager to the EVP at TeenNick & Nicktoons in New York.
Adam Glick has been shifted to be the EVP of Business Affairs at Warner Bros. Television. He was previously the EVP of Business Affairs at Warner Horizon Television.
Sandy Varo Jarrell is shifting from SVP of Production and Development for TLC to SVP Creative for Discovery Studios. In the newly created role, Varo Jarrell will handle originating and developing projects for network clients and overseeing the creative direction of all Discovery Studios projects. Howard Lee’s role is being expanded to EVP of Development and Production. He will handle TLC’s entire production and development programming slate originating from the Los Angeles, New York and Silver Spring, MD, offices and will continue his role as General Manager of Discovery Life Channel reporting to Daniels.
Willard Scott will retire from NBC’s Today after 35 years with the morning news show. Scott’s final appearance will be Tuesday.
Amy Savitsky will be the new SVP of Development and Programming at A&E Network in their non-fiction development, working closely with fellow SVP Development & Programming Shelly Tatro. Savitsky and Tatro will manage the programming and development team. Savitsky has spent more than 10 years at Discovery Communications, most recently serving as SVP of Development for TLC.
Skylar Isdale has been hired as the Communications Coordinator at Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks. She was formerly the Executive Assistant at Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Texas.
Katie O’Connell Marsh has been hired as the Head of Global Live-Action Television at DreamWorks Animation (as of January 2016). She was formerly the CEO at Gaumont International Television.
Brent Mitchell has been upped from VP of Marketing, Advertising & Digital/Social to the SVP, Consumer Marketing at E! Entertainment and Esquire Network.
Simon Shalgosky has been hired as the Head of Entertainment Development at Lion TV. He was previously the Head of Development, Non-Scripted at Keshet International.
Disney/ABC Television Group has promoted Skarpi Hedinsson to the position of CTO. He’ll oversee developing tech strategies and solutions for the company’s products and services, including its digital technologies. Formerly he was the company’s SVP of Technology and Platform, Digital Media.
Rachel Smith has been upped from VP to the SVP of Current Production at Bravo Media in New York.
Renu Thomas has been upped from SVP of Technology & Operations to the EVP of Media Operations, Engineering & IT at Disney-ABC Television Group.
Courtney White has been hired as the SVP of Programming at Travel Channel. She was formerly the VP of Programming at HGTV, DIY Network & Great American Country in Knoxville.
ITV has acquired a controlling interest in Leftfield Entertainment Group from its founder and CEO Brent Montgomery making ITV the largest unscripted independent producer in the US. Brent Montgomery has been hired as the CEO at ITV America in New York. He was previously the Founder, CEO at Leftfield Entertainment in New York. Adam Sher has been hired as the Chief Creative Officer at ITV America. He was previously the Chief Creative Officer at Leftfield Entertainment. Ed Simpson has been hired as the EVP of Business Development & International at ITV America in New York. He was previously the SVP of Business Development & International at Leftfield Entertainment. Chris Valentini has been hired as the Chief Operating Officer at ITV. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer, General Manager at Leftfield.
Alana Rosu has been hired as the Director of Talent Relations & Events at FX Networks. She was formerly the Manager of Branded Entertainment at NBCUniversal.
Karen Ross has been hired as the Managing Director at Sidney Street Productions (as of January 2016). She was formerly the Creative Director of MasterChef.
Management, PR, Agencies
Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel’s Lotus Entertainment have launched a management division named Lotus Management. The division will work with writers, directors and content creators across all aspects of their careers. Lenny Beckerman will head the division as Principal. He was previously the EVP at Uber Content.
Larry Goldhar has retired. He was previously the Co-Founder, President, Toronto Office at The Characters Talent Agency. Jennifer Goldhar has been upped from VP to the President, Toronto Office at The Characters Talent Agency in Toronto.
Management 360 has named Justin Grey Stone, Chris Huvane, and Gabriel Cohen as new Partners, boosting their partners to 14. The Talent Managers have clients that include Margot Robbie, Johnny Galecki, Dakota Johnson, Chadwick Boseman, and Blake Lively. Ana Bedayo and Charlie Gavshon have been promoted and will become talent managers.
Rob Greenwald has been upped from Publicist to the VP at Forefront Media. Samantha Srinivasan has been hired as the SVP at Forefront Media. She was formerly the Principal at Sechel PR.
Ellen Jones has been upped from Coordinator to an Agent in TV Production at ICM Partners. Matt Sorger has been upped from Coordinator to Agent in International TV & Media at ICM Partners in New York.
Dan Limerick has been hired as the Head of TV Business Affairs at WME. He was previously the EVP of Business Affairs at Warner Bros. Television. Andrew Wang has been hired as an Agent in TV Literary at WME. He was previously an Agent in TV Literary at Paradigm. Catherine Sugar has been shifted from Head of TV Business Affairs to the Head of Business Affairs at Global TV of WME.
Ben Mench-Thurlow has been upped from Coordinator to Agent of Adult Contemporary Music, Concerts Division of APA. Guy Richard has been hired as the VP in the Adult Contemporary Music at Concerts Division at APA. He was previously the VP in Adult Contemporary Music at The Agency Group/UTA.
Rob Miller has been hired as the Agent in Alternative TV at CAA in New York. He previously founded and was the President at Peleton Entertainment in New York. Daniel Pine has been hired as the Agent of Alternative TV in CAA. He was previously the Agent in Packaging at Peleton Entertainment.
Oren Segal is now a Principal at Management Production Entertainment. He was previously a Partner at Radius Entertainment.
Tyman Stewart has been upped from SVP to the President, Vancouver Office at The Characters Talent Agency in Vancouver.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
Vice Media has named David Purdy as its Chief International Growth Officer, a newly created position. Formerly, he served as SVP of Content and Video Product Management at the Canadian telco Rogers Communications. At Vice, Purdy will oversee building and expanding upon global partnerships.
Multi-channel network Collective Studio 71 has hired Adam Boorstin as EVP of Global Digital Distribution. Formerly, he was Head of Partnerships at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Collective Studio 71 was formed earlier this year when Collective Digital Studio merged with Studio 71.
Refinery29 has promoted Amy Emmerich to the position of Chief Content Officer, a newly created position. Emmerich will oversee driving content strategy and distribution. Previously, Emmerich held the title of EVP, Programming.
Forefront Media has named Samantha Srinivasan as its new SVP. She was previously running her own company, Sechel PR for four years. She will bringing clients Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer and Jonathan Stern. Rob Greenwald has been promoted from Publicist to Forefront’s VP. His clients include Jim Gaffigan, Tony Hale, Marc Maron, Haley Joel Osment, Rob Riggle and Reggie Watts.
John Brody has been hired as the EVP of Global Sales & Partnerships at WWE. He was previously the SVP of Sponsorship & Media Sales at NFL in New York.
Richard Hall has been hired as the VP of TV Strategy at Videology. He was previously the Director of Product Management and Advanced TV at Cadreon.
Adria Petty has been hired as the Director at Wondros. She was formerly the Director at Missing Pieces.
Lisa Anderson has been hired as the Manager of Unscripted Development at Fullscreen. She was formerly an Associate Producer of Non-Fiction Programming at Lifetime.
Ben Fast has been hired as the EVP of Development at Indigenous Media. He was previously the Director of Scripted Television at The Weinstein Company. Maira Nevarez has been hired as the EVP of Finance & Operations at Indigenous Media. She was formerly the VP Finance at E! Entertainment and Esquire Network.
Jacqueline Saturn and Piero Giramonti will be General Managers for Caroline in addition to their duties General Managers at Harvest Records.
Erika W. Burton has been hired as the EVP, General Manager at Digital Domain. She was formerly the Studio Executive at DreamWorks Animation.