Laura Kennedy Promoted to COO of Lionsgate Television Group
Will Oversee Television Group’s Operations, Strategy and Planning, Continues to Head All M&A Relating to Television
SANTA MONICA, Calif. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Reflecting her leadership role in the Company’s television operations, Laura Kennedy has been promoted to COO of the Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) Television Group, the Company announced today. In her new position, she will head up the operations, strategy and planning of the Company’s fast-growing television division, one of the largest independent television businesses in the world, and will continue to direct all M&A activity related to Lionsgate’s television operations. Ms. Kennedy, a 10-year veteran of Lionsgate and a member of the Company’s senior management team, will report to Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs.
«Laura has been instrumental in helping us rapidly grow and diversify our television business,» said Mr. Beggs. «She has a great understanding of where the industry is headed, coupled with the ability to plan the acquisitions and internal growth that will enable us to execute our strategic vision. We expect her to play a valuable role in continuing to build Lionsgate Television into a global content powerhouse.»
«Laura is one of the star executives who will play a key role in moving our Company forward,» said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. «With the recent integration of Starz and our growing investment in new content, our opportunities to continue scaling our television platform are greater than ever. Laura’s strategic grasp, financial acumen and deal-making ability will be an important part of that process.»
Before her promotion, Ms. Kennedy served as Lionsgate Executive Vice President of Television Operations & Corporate Development. In her dual roles, she has been instrumental in the strategic acquisitions and corporate financings that have transformed Lionsgate from a small independent studio into a diversified multibillion-dollar global content platform.
Ms. Kennedy has worked alongside Lionsgate senior management on a broad range of transactions including the acquisitions of syndication business Debmar-Mercury, the television channel Pop, a majority stake in leading reality producer Pilgrim Media and the recent investments in U.K. production companies Primal Media and Potboiler Television. Most recently, she was one of the deal-makers spearheading Lionsgate’s $4.4 billion acquisition of Starz.
Ms. Kennedy is also responsible for overseeing the financial operations of Lionsgate’s television business that encompasses a roster of nearly 90 shows on 40 different networks. These include the ground-breaking series Orange is the New Black (Netflix), the fan favorite Nashville (CMT/Hulu), the hit drama The Royals (E!), the acclaimed Casual (Hulu) and the breakout success Greenleaf (OWN), as well as eagerly-anticipated series such as Dear White People (Netflix), which debuts on April 28th, White Famous (Showtime) and Step Up (YouTube Red).
Additionally, she is one of the architects of Lionsgate’s rollout of a suite of OTT platforms including Tribeca Shortlist and Laugh Out Loud, the multi-faceted partnership with global superstar Kevin Hart and his company, Heartbeat Digital.
Ms. Kennedy graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a B.A. degree in English and American Literature and received an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. She began her career as a talent manager for the UK-based talent management and production company Avalon where she assumed responsibility for Avalon’s television business development and M&A initiatives.
Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) is a vertically integrated next generation global content leader with a diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, premium pay television networks, home entertainment, global distribution and sales, interactive ventures and games and location-based entertainment.
With the acquisition of Starz, Lionsgate adds to its portfolio of businesses the flagship STARZ premium pay network serving 24.3 million subscribers and the STARZ ENCORE platform with 31 million subscribers. The combined company will operate five over-the-top (OTT) streaming services and the STARZ app delivering content directly to consumers.
The Company’s feature film business spans eight labels and includes the blockbuster The Hunger Games franchise, the Now You See Me series, the box office smash La La Land, which won six Academy Awards®, the hit franchise sequel John Wick: Chapter Two, double Oscar winner Hacksaw Ridge, Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween, The Shack, Saban’s Power Rangers, CBS Films/Lionsgate’s Hell or High Water, Roadside Attractions’ critically-acclaimed Manchester by the Sea, Codeblack Films’ breakout concert film Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain and Pantelion Films’ Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
One of the largest independent television businesses in the world, Lionsgate’s slate of premium quality series encompasses nearly 90 shows on more than 40 different networks. These include the ground-breaking Orange is the New Black, the fan favorite Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the hit drama The Royals, the acclaimed Casual, the breakout success Greenleaf, the network reality shows Kicking & Screaming and the eagerly-anticipated Candy Crush, and hit STARZ series including Outlander, Black Sails, Survivor’s Remorse and Power, the second highest-rated premium pay television series of 2016.
Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of more than 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as a foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment and Starz brands are synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com
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