Lionsgate names new TV chief

Orange-is-the-New-BlackLionsgate Entertainment has promoted long-time television COO Sandra Stern to president of the division.

The film and TV firm firm has placed Stern closer to Lionsgate TV Group chairman Kevin Beggs with the promotion, though he remains on top of the division.

She oversees all business, legal, administrative, strategy and operational aspects, plus transactions, strategy and negotiations worldwide.

Stern is considered to have been instrumental in the financial windowing structures of show such as Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, ABC’s Nashville and AMC’s Mad Men, moves that have made Lionsgate’s television revenues a key driver for the firm.

“Sandra is one of the key executives moving our company forward, and her deal-making skills, industry acumen and talent relationships are helping to elevate our Television Group to the next level of performance,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.

“Sandra is a skilled negotiator with a tremendous grasp of where our industry is headed, and I couldn’t ask for a more talented, dedicated and innovative partner,” added Beggs. “She plays an incredibly valuable role in building our stature as a leading supplier of premium content to broadcast, cable and digital networks as well as exploring new and exciting growth opportunities.”

Stern joined Lionsgate from Artists Management Group in 2003 as executive VP, business and legal and was upped to COO of the television group two years later. She has also worked at Sony Pictures Entertainment-owned Columbia TriStar Television Group.

She also put together the first international coproduction for a US broadcast network while at New World Entertainment in 1991.

Lionsgate will launch a record 16 new shows next season, though it had no new titles for the 2015/16 period.