Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury has renewed hit game show Family Feud through the 2025-26 season, taking the Fremantle-produced show into its landmark 50th year on television. Leading station groups Fox, CBS, Nexstar, Scripps and Tegna have signed multi-year renewals for the nationally syndicated ratings juggernaut, hosted by Steve Harvey.
Lionsgate said Thursday it released financial forecasts for its media and studio businesses as it prepares to separate the company by spinning off the studio. “We are committed to separating our media networks and studio business,” CEO Jon Feltheimer said on the company’s second-quarter earnings.
Lionsgate has formed a new long-term employment deal with Kevin Beggs, the studio’s Television Group chair and chief content integration officer. Terms of the new contract were not disclosed. Beggs and Lionsgate Television Group president Sandra Stern have led LGTV for 20 years, making them together one of the longest-running leadership teams in television. Beggs, a 24-year veteran of the studio, helped the renewals of network shows like Home Economics, Welcome to Flatch and Ghosts.
Lionsgate today confirmed today that it remains on track to separate Starz and its studio business despite volatile markets, noting that it’s now focusing on spinning off the studio, instead of the other way around. “As negotiations progress we have increased our focus on the possibility of spinning our studio business, creating a number of financial and strategic benefits. In that regard, we are continuning productive negotiations with prospective strategic and financial partners on both sides of our business,” the company said in an SEC filing Wednesday. It said it remains on a path to complete a transaction despite “volatile market conditions.”
Lionsgate has extended CEO Jon Feltheimer’s contract for another year, which will now take him through Aug. 21, 2025. Feltheimer last signed a contract in 2020, which would have him at the studio through 2024. Lionsgate has now added another year to his employment.
What Happens Next For Tegna?
Fox’s free ad-supported streaming service Tubi has inked a deal with Lionsgate to exclusively house 30 new upcoming feature films, as well as add more than 200 popular titles to its on-demand library.
Lionsgate confirmed Thursday that it is looking to spin off Starz and said it should have a deal in place by the end of the summer, with closure occurring by the end of this year. “We are engaged in a robust and productive process with our bankers and a number of potential strategic and financial partners,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told equity analysts during Lionsgate’s fiscal 4Q earnings call. Roku, Apollo Global, Canal Plus and DirecTV are all bidders.
Roku has signed a multiyear theatrical output deal with Lionsgate, enabling the connected TV provider to exclusively stream Lionsgate’s theatrically released films. Lionsgate movies will be available on the Roku Channel after they initially premiere on Starz, the studio’s subsidiary network.
Lionsgate says it’s exploring options for Starz is news that is sure to heat up the M&A rumor mill. The company made the announcement in an SEC filing as it reported quarterly earnings Thursday.
The former entertainment chairman at WarnerMedia and NBC has launched a production company, The Green Room, and signed a first-look TV deal with Lionsgate Television. Under the deal, Greenblatt will develop and produce premium projects for the studio via The Green Room. The former Showtime boss has also enlisted Jon Wu to serve as head of filmed content for The Green Room.
Ryan Lowerre has joined Lionsgate as president of domestic television and digital distribution, the company announced today. The former Amazon Prime exec’s appointment completes the reconfiguration of the company’s Worldwide Television and Digital Distribution Operations across streaming, broadcast and cable platforms.
Lionsgate is reconfiguring its worldwide television distribution operations and promoting two executives as it looks to capitalize on the demand for premium content in an ever-competitive market, with more personnel announcements expected in the weeks to come. Kate Nexon (l) is now EVP of domestic TV and digital distribution, and Chase Brisbin is in charge of expanding the studio’s content business with new international platforms.
Pilgrim Media Group’s Craig Piligian has re-upped his deal with Lionsgate, expanding his purview to oversee the studio’s unscripted division. Piligian will continue as CEO of Pilgrim Media Group. Under the new deal, he also has also been elevated to chair of Pilgrim Media Group.
Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate are partnering with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to adapt the The New York Times’ recent project examining the legacy of slavery for film and television. Lionsgate said Wednesday that it will work alongside “The 1619 Project” architect Hannah-Jones to develop a multi-media history of slavery and its effects in America […]
The studio is looking to unlock hidden value in the premium cable channel as it expands in the streaming space with popular shows like Power and Outlander.
According to an SEC filing, the billionaire investor no longer “beneficially” owns class A shares in the Hollywood studio.
Lionsgate has promoted Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch to president and CEO of the premium network, inking a new long-term contract. He had been named chief operating officer in 2016 and has been running the network since the March exit of former Starz CEO Chris Albrecht.
The new syndicated daytime show from Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury is slated to debut in 2020.
AT&T and Lionsgate-owned Starz have reached a new multi-year carriage deal, avoiding a disruption of the premium network’s offerings on AT&T’s DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse cable platforms. The agreement encompasses Starz and Starz Encore linear and HD channels, on-demand and online services.
Three years after the close of Lionsgate’s $4.4 billion acquisition of Starz, the companies have stepped up the integration of their television operations under Lionsgate Entertainment CEO Jon Feltheimer. Merging are the companies’ TV physical production and post-production units, legal and TV music departments as well as aspects of business affairs and TV finance related to production.
Layoffs are underway at Lionsgate today. About 20 of of the company’s 1,600 employees, or 1%, are affected. Most of them are said to be in corporate divisions, with a few staffers in TV distribution and the motion picture group also getting pinked slipped.
Starz CEO Chris Albrecht will depart next month after a decade at the company. Albrecht’s decision to step down comes two years after Starz’s acquisition by Lionsgate was completed amid the continued integration of the two companies. For the time being, Starz will move forward under COO Jeffrey Hirsch and the current leadership team, including President of Programming Carmi Zlotnik, working closely with Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.
Count Sony Pictures Entertainment and Lionsgate among the early suitors for Endemol Shine, the global production group that is home to such well-traveled series as Big Brother, MasterChef and Black Mirror.
Jon Feltheimer has for years been a buyer, most recently of Starz, but as Disney and AT&T bulk up and potential suitors swirl, his mini-studio could prove irresistible for a giant like Verizon or even the Murdochs.
With CBS and Viacom talking merger again, all eyes are on Lionsgate, which is considered a prime target for acquisition. According to one source, there are already potential suitors — Amazon, Verizon and a CBS-Viacom combination — that have all been sniffing around the company.
Lionsgate executive Andrew Kramer’s recent exit from the independent studio followed allegations that he harassed a subordinate. Kramer had served as COO of international for Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group since 2013. Prior to that, he spent seven years at the Weinstein Co., where he was president of business and legal affairs and general counsel.
MGM is about to become the sole owner of Epix with a deal to buy the stakes held by Viacom’s Paramount and Lionsgate that values the joint venture at $1.28 billion.MGM agreed to pay $1.03 billion for Viacom’s 49.8% interest and Lionsgate’s 31.2% of the premium network business. The partners expect the deal to close this month, following approval by antitrust officials.
MGM Holdings is in talks to acquire the 81% of Epix it does not already own from two of its partners in the premium U.S. channel, Viacom and Lionsgate, people familiar with the matter say. The deal would give MGM, a privately held U.S. movie studio best known for its classic film library, control of Epix and would be a boon to its TV business, as it seeks to build a stronger platform to distribute its content.
Starz moved a step closer to merging with Lionsgate as the premium network company’s shareholders voted overwhelmingly to support the agreement to sell itself to the studio for $4.4 billion cash and stock.
Lionsgate has named digital media entrepreneur Julie Uhrman to the newly created position of executive vice president and general manager of Lionsgate Over-the-Top Ventures.
The two companies team up to offer a new premium on-demand movie service that will tap a base of more than 50 million Hispanic consumers in the U.S.