eOne alum John Morayniss & Endeavor launch acquisition-hungry outfit

John Morayniss

John Morayniss and three of his former Entertainment One (eOne) colleagues have joined forces to launch a Toronto-based outfit, which is on the look-out for acquisitions and is being backed by Endeavor Content.

Morayniss, who left his role atop of eOne’s TV business in 2018, is being joined by Patrice Theroux, Jeff Lynas and Nelson Kuo-Lee from his former firm.

The new company, Blink Studios, will be based in Canada but also have an office in LA. It will operate as a full-service indie focused on the development, production and monetisation of scripted and unscripted content for the global market.

Patrice Theroux

Endeavor is anchor investor and lead strategic partner, with Blink’s “priority distribution partner” on a worldwide basis.

Investment strategy

Blink says it will use “a significant portion” of its capital to make investments in Canadian production companies across all genres and formats. The firm is also seeking to strike strategic deals with writers, creators and producers, adding it will “aggressively pursue” IP in Canada and around the world.

It added that “significant resources” would be used “to support new and diverse Canadian voices, in a bid to ensure “diverse, unique and compelling stories an opportunity to reach a worldwide market.

Morayniss said: “When we first began our discussions with [Endeavor Content co-presidents] Chris [Rice] and Graham [Taylor] we felt that there was an immediate understanding and alignment as to why we were so passionate about building a world-class Canadian indie and how we were going to achieve success with a new and improved creative-first approach and strategy.”

Rice and Taylor added that Blink would “lean heavily” into Canadian talent, adding that the firm is now “set up to invest in both the most established producers and the incredibly exciting emerging voices coming from Canada – where huge opportunity exists.”

Jeff Lynas

Management details have not been revealed, with Blink adding that further creative and production roles would be filled in the coming weeks.

Background & biogs

Blink’s launch comes almost four years since Morayniss revealed he would be leaving eOne, after the company bought the 49% of The Mark Gordon Company that it didn’t already own. It then installed Gordon at the top of its creative division, with Morayniss departing.

Prior to that, Morayniss had run eOne’s TV interests for more than a decade as CEO. He joined the company in 2008 after founding Canadian firm Blueprint Entertainment in 2002, which then acquired several other Canada-based businesses that were eventually acquired by eOne in 2008.

He is joined at Blink by fellow eOne execs Theroux, who was CEO of Alliance Films and then president of eOne film and TV from 2007 to 2014, and Lynas, who was named COO at eOne TV in 2015.

The trio worked alongside Kuo-Lee, who was EVP of eOne’s film and TV business, and rose to become COO and CFO before departing in early 2020. Kuo-Lee originally joined the firm in 2007 as it planned its launch as a content studio.

Also joining the company is Kirstine Stewart, formerly chief revenue officer at tech firm Pex, who joins the board. Stewart has previously worked for Twitter and was CBC’s head of TV, radio & digital.

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