Media giant Liberty Global and equity investor TPG Growth are launching a production and distribution company to be headed by the former CEO of Gaumont Television.
Katie O’Connell Marsh has been named CEO of Platform One Media, which is being funded by TPG Growth through Evolution Media, an investment partnership with talent agency CAA and prodco Participant Media. Liberty Global will initially take a minority stake in the new business.
The indie will develop, produce and distribute high-end scripted programming for the US and international markets.
Slingshot Global Media, the prodco set up with backing from TPG in 2014 and previously led by former FremantleMedia CEO David Ellender, is having its brand retired as part of the move. Platform One has acquired its portfolio of development projects, though that does not include Keanu Reeves’ first foray into television which was part of Slingshot’s launch slate but has now been canned. Ellender exited the business in March last year.
O’Connell Marsh spent five years as CEO of Gaumont Television, joining in October 2010 to launch its studio operation. While there, she developed and produced drama series including NBC’s Hannibal and Netflix’s Narcos and Hemlock Grove.
More recently, O’Connell Marsh was head of global live-action television for DreamWorks Animation (DWA).
Other appointments include Courtney Conte, president of Slingshot, who will join Platform One as chief operating officer (COO) and president. He was previously COO of BBC Worldwide Productions and co-president of Carsey-Werner.
Elisa Ellis, most recently head of creative for the live-action television division at DWA, is also coming on board as chief creative officer.
Prior to joining DWA in 2016, Ellis was president of creative affairs and production at Gaumont Television, where she oversaw series development and production on shows including Hannibal and Narcos.
Fellow Gaumont Television alum Erik Pack has been hired as head of distribution and coproduction, based in London. Pack was president of international distribution and coproduction at Gaumont, and prior to that was executive VP of international sales and coproductions at London-based producer and distributor Power. He also spent 12 years in various roles at Hallmark Entertainment.
Neil Strum, who most recently served as head of business and legal affairs for Slingshot Global Media, will take on the same position at Platform One, while Julia Franz, former head of creative at ABC Studios, will consult for the new company.
O’Connell Marsh said: “The explosion of original content globally is creating an opportunity for new, innovative and diverse ways to engage audiences beyond the series itself.
“With Platform One Media, and our partners TPG Growth and Liberty Global, we are perfectly positioned to develop and distribute compelling narratives that are artistic, meaningful and addictive by working closely with innovative, inspiring talent to bring to life their creative visions.”