Television Business International

Lionsgate names TV COO

Laura Kennedy has been upped to COO of Lionsgate’s television division, putting her in charge of M&A, strategy and planning at the independent studio’s TV arm.

laura kennedyKennedy is a ten-year veteran at Lionsgate, the Liberty Global-backed studio that recently bought premium cabler Starz. She has been upped from executive VP and fills a role that has been vacant since Sandra Stern was elevated to TV president in late 2015.

In her new role, Kennedy (left) will report to Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs (below right).

Kevin-Beggs-Headshot-2014“Laura has been instrumental in helping us rapidly grow and diversify our television business,” he said.

“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.”

During her decade at Lionsgate Kennedy worked on the deals for Debmar-Mercury, cable net Pop, and for a majority stake in reality prodco Pilgrim Media. She has also been involved in the recent wave of UK M&A, which has seen Lionsgate buy into prodcos including Primal Media and Potboiler Television.

She was also instrumental in the US$4.4 billion acquisition of Starz.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said: “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.”