Company Launches

John Ferriter is exiting Octagon Entertainment to start a management and production company called The Alternative. Ferriter’s clients include Piers Morgan, Nancy O’Dell and Drew Pinsky. Ferriter’s new company will continue to work with Octagon on projects that are already in development.

DreamWorks financier Reliance Entertainment is teaming with India’s Phantom Films, a leading production company formed by four of the country’s strongest indie filmmakers, including Anurag Kashyap. The joint venture will leverage the Phantom talent base and give the company access to Reliance’s domestic and international infrastructure.

Endemol Shine UK is launching a new scripted label. Bandit Television will be run by vet Phillippa Giles who comes from BBC Drama. She is Managing Director and her credits include Luther and the procedural Silent Witness. Bandit will create and produce original dramas for the UK market, which will be distributed globally by Endemol Shine International.

Film

Focus Features has finalized Jim Burke’s deal to become president of production. Focus has promoted SVP Production Josh McLaughlin to EVP, reporting to Burke. Burke will report to CEO Peter Schlessel.

IM Global, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA, has hired Michael Rothstein to be the President of International Sales and Distribution. Rothstein was previously the President of International at The Weinstein Company, where he served between 2005 until 2013. He will oversee a sales operation spread across regional offices in Los Angeles, London, Beijing and Mexico City.

Television

Mythology Entertainment inked a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios. The company also announced the hiring of department heads: Julia Gunn as exec vice president of television and Tracey Nyberg as exec vice president of film. Under the pact, Mythology will develop and produce broadcast, cable and digital scripted series with the studios.

Pulse Films has named Patrick Vien as president. He’ll help move Pulse into non-scripted television and channel creation, in addition to its other core businesses of branded entertainment, film and commercials. Vien was NBC Universal president of Global TV Networks, overseeing TV channel brands across 30 countries. He was also chairman/CEO of Warner Music International, overseeing 50 labels.

Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i has been upped to SVP Entertainment Diversity & Communications at CBS Entertainment. Previously VP, Smith-Anoa’i will develop new programs that recruit, nurture and hire diverse talent to work in front of and behind the camera.

Turner International India has named Rohit Bhandari head of its English-language entertainment portfolio, which includes HBO and WB in South Asia. The role covers content acquisition, communications, marketing and brand building.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts gave new EVP titles to Chief Communications Officer D’Arcy Rudnay, General Counsel Arthur Block, and Chief Accounting Officer Lawrence Salva.

Lisa Perrin, currently Manging Director of Shine Network, has been named to lead Endemol Shine Creative Networks. She will report directly to Endemol Shine Group President Tim Hincks. Iris Boelhouwer, who has been Managing Director of Creative Operations for Endemol, will leave the company this summer.

Management, PR, Music, Agencies, Digital, Misc.

Refinery29, the popular fashion and style website, is moving into programming, and has hired producer Brandi-Ann Milbradt to spearhead its effort to create original video content. She will report to Amy Emmerich, EVP of Programming. The programming will be written by, for and about fierce women.

Boutique comedy management and production company Odenkirk Provisseiro Entertainment has brought on Tiffany Schloesser as a new manager. Schloesser comes to Odenkirk from APA, where she served as an agent in the comedy department for the past four years.

Relevant has promoted Los Angeles-based Grace Yi and New York-based Alex Kahn to junior publicist. Both have been with the PR firm since it was founded by Nicole Caruso, Evelyn Karamonos and Jessica Kolstad one year ago.

Paradigm Talent Agency has hired Sean Zeid as head of domestic alternative television. The agency is also promoting current lead Steve Wohl to head of worldwide alternative TV.

UTA has promoted agents Marissa Devins, Nancy Gates, Peter Goldberg, Ramses IsHak, Rena Ronson, Leslie Schuster, Michael Sheresky and Brent Weinstein to partner.

Andy Stabile has moved to Elliot Stahler and Mitch Kaplan’s Kaplan Stahler Agency as Partner and Head of Alternative, after 13 years in the Alternative Television department at CAA. At CAA, Stabile brokered deals for series including NBC’s Food Fighters, Oxygen’s Preachers Of L.A., Esquire’s Knife Fight and Car Matchmaker.

Kevin McLaughlin has joined Craig Bankey in Main Stage Public Relations after spending the last seven years as an account executive at BWR. McLaughlin, who started in talent public relations at The Dart Group (now called 42West), will continue to represent his clients out of NYC. Bankey will stay in L.A.

SSN Insider Staff

SSN Insiders are industry insiders and analysts.

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